A woman from San Diego and her husband were among thousands of people trapped at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport during Friday’s shooting rampage.
Bonnie DeRoos grew up and spent most of her life in San Diego before recently moving. She and her husband had just gotten off a cruise and were inside the airport when she said chaos erupted.
“It was very scary, we’re still kind of in shock.” DeRoos said. “It was just totally surreal, it was just unbelievable.”
The shooting took place in terminal two; DeRoos and her husband were in terminal one, where there was a second shooting scare.
“We heard all this screaming and running from one particular area,” DeRoos said.
DeRoos said they hid underneath chairs and behind luggage when sheriff’s deputies yelled for passengers to take cover. That terminal was also evacuated.
“We were out there for about five hours,” DeRoos said.
Late Friday evening, DeRoos said sheriff’s buses finally took thousands of passengers from the airport, after fighting through a traffic mess.
DeRoss said even with what happened, the sheer number of people who could have been targets at the airport means that this tragedy could have still been worse.
“We were the lucky ones,” she said. “With thousands of thousands of people in that airport today, I think there were a lot of blessed people that missed that horrible, horrible tragedy.”