A man, armed with a machete and a can of bug spray who attacked passengers and TSA workers Friday night at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport was shot three times by an officer on the scene.
Richard White, 62, without warning, approached airport security wielding a can of wasp killer and began spraying both the agents and several passengers. He then drew the machete out from his waistband and began swinging it, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said, according to The Associated Press.
Passenger Jonas Dominique tweeted this photo of White on a gurney after the shooting:
A man tries to rush security at MSY w/ a machete, TSA shoots him @WWLTV @wdsu @cnnbrk @msnbc pic.twitter.com/JPwcaFAbPt
— Jonas Dominique (@JonasPDominique) March 21, 2015
After a male TSA agent blocked the swinging machete with a piece of luggage, White ran through the metal detector and began chasing a female TSA agent. Lt. Heather Slyve of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office drew her firearm and shot White three times, striking him in the chest, face and leg.
“Everyone was ducking for cover. It’s New Orleans. I knew they (the gunshots) were coming from the security checkpoint area,” passenger Garret Laborde, 31, said, according to the AP. “I immediately ducked down … Then we waited.”
The AP reported:
He called the scene “instant chaos” with “screaming, lots of females screaming for a short period of time.” Some bystanders ran to get out of the way and received minor cuts and bruises, the sheriff said. Laborde said he remained down for several minutes. He said police then began rushing around the airport, telling everyone to duck and get back down, and that sirens went off and announcements could be heard for people to evacuate. He said the tension eased later and he was outside the airport when he saw a man being taken out on a stretcher.
WWL Channel 4 News issued this report:
The sheriff reported that investigators are still trying to determine why White, who was taken to the hospital, was even at the airport and his motive for the attack. He didn’t appear to be trying to boars a plane.
“At this point, we have only been able to determine that Richard White had a few minor arrests,” said a sheriff’s statement emailed early Saturday by agency spokesman Col. John N. Fortunato. He said authorities later found White’s car outside the terminal and searched it.
The scene could only be described by passenger Rebecca Slomski as utter chaos:
Chaos at #MSY #NewOrleans #airport — Rebecca Slomski (@Becky_SAP) March 21, 2015
Slomski also tweeted this six-second video:
— Rebecca Slomski (@Becky_SAP) March 21, 2015
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