FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (KTRK) --ABC13 reporter Steve Campion was on a trip to see his 90-year-old grandmother and his nephew's first birthday and became an eyewitness to horror.
Campion landed at the Ft. Lauderdale airport around 2:20 p.m., and along with other passengers on the airplane, started getting news alerts and texts that there was a shooting at the very airport where they just touched down.
Watch Steve's full conversation with Melanie Lawson by playing the video above
"The phones just started buzzing," Campion said.
The flight crew didn't know what was going on and the passengers were kept on the plane for safety, Campion said.
Campion could later see people running away from the airport on the tarmac, scenes captured in a live Facebook video.
Later, he was evacuated onto the tarmac.
Tweets from Campion showed hundreds of people around the tarmac, milling around, waiting for instructions.
The whole event is surreal, Campion said. Something that was supposed to be joyous turns into perspective.
"My heart sank a little bit, because this is my hometown," Campion said, fighting back tears. "This is supposed to be a happy occasion, to think that people were killed at the baggage claim, it's just heartbreaking."
"When you put it into perspective, life is just fleeting, I'm here to celebrate a 1-year-old's birthday and a 90-year-old birthday and here I am, standing on the runway, wondering if we're really safe or not."