Faith Helps Effingham Pastor Get Through Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooting

Effingham, IL / Effingham Radio

“I felt the presence of God with me the whole time,” said Pastor of Christ Tabernacle Church, and Effingham resident, Jereme Suey who was at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport when the shooting occurred last Friday. “I know that my church was praying as they were following on the news and through TV and a lot of them were praying that the lord would put angels around us and I really feel like he did.”

Jereme, and his wife Danielle, has just returned from a cruise earlier that morning and were waiting to check their bags at the airport when the shooting happened. They had been alerted that there was a security threat, but did not have any details. According to Jereme, he and Danielle felt safe so he went to go check on their flight status.

“That’s when there was a loud bang. Nobody knows exactly what it was, but people started running, people started screaming,” Jereme said.

He was directed by a TSA agent towards the concourse and was separated from Danielle, who exited through terminal one. The shooting was in terminal two. “We were separated from then, until about ten o’clock that night,” Jereme recounted. He was later released from the vicinity of the airport with a large crowd, but his phone was dead and he had no money.

Danielle was moved around several time during the chaos, often barricading herself behind luggage as a precaution, until it was revealed that there was no second gunman. Jereme said that the uncertainty of being separated from his wife was the worst part of the experience. “Just knowing that she might be in danger and there was nothing I could do. That was torture,” he said. Danielle was later moved to a relief area with other travelers.

The two were reunited after Jereme managed to get ride to the relief area from a stranger, who turned out to be the Ft. Lauderdale City Manager, and was reunited with Danielle.

The shooting claimed the lives of five people and injured eight more. The gunman, Esteban Santiago, was taken into custody shorty after.

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