Swim team escaped airport shooting

As the UVM women’s swimming and diving team awaited their flight from the from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, gunshots rang out from a terminal, according to a  statement from UVM officials.

At around 1 p.m., a man, later identified by law enforcement officials as former marine Esteban Santiago Ruiz, began shooting with a 9 mm handgun inside the airport, according to CNN. Five were killed and nine were injured.  The airport went into total lockdown.

The team’s story of escape was told in the twitter feeds of various team members.

About an hour after, a still frame from a Fox News segment showed the athletes running to evacuate Terminal 1 in the airport.



The picture was later retweeted by team members, along with the words “UVM can swim, dive and do land sports too.”

“There was ducking and yelling and people began running and they evacuated us to the tarmac,” swimmer junior Kelly Lennon tweeted at around 3pm.

The team ran out of the airport’s fences, where they waited for law enforcement, she stated in the tweet.

With “a few bumps and bruises from running,” the team got out safely with everyone accounted for, she stated.

Later, athletes and others tweeted: 

UVM expressed their concern and pride for the team’s bravery over the social media platform as well.

Jeff Schulman, UVM athletic director, tweeted that he was proud of the team; their care and bravery during the attacks could not even compare to winning, he stated.

The team got to their hotel by 9 p.m.

“This was a sad and tragic day in Fort Lauderdale, and we appreciate all of the concern that has been expressed for the UVM swim team,” a joint statement from Schulman and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Annie Stevens stated.

The team is set to arrive home tomorrow afternoon , according to a release from UVM athletics.

The team had been in Fort Lauderdale for a training. They will not attend their scheduled road meet against University of Maryland Baltimore County and Howard University Jan. 7, according to an update from UVM athletics.