Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said he wanted to know Saturday how Esteban Santiago, 26, who had been taken for a mental evaluation by law enforcement in November, could have legally owned a gun.
"A conversation that needs to happen, certainly, is we need to talk about, as a country going forward … you know, people suffering from mental illness," Israel said, according to WFTV.
While authorities have yet to officially release the names, but The Associated Press reports on the stories of four of the five victims killed including Shirley Timmons, of Ohio; Terry Andres, of Virginia; Olga Woltering, of Georgia; and Michael Oehme, of Iowa.
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Witnesses, including former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, started sharing information on social media shortly after shots were fired.
Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief characterized the attacker as a "lone shooter" and said authorities did not immediately know the motive behind the attack.