Man attacks TSA agents at New Orleans airport with machete, wasp spray; shot by police (VIDEOS)
NEW ORLEANS (CNN) — Armed with a machete and wasp spray, a 63-year-old man stormed through two security checkpoints at Louis Armstrong International Airport near New Orleans Friday night before being shot three times by a law enforcement officer, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said.
The suspect, Richard White, was taken to a hospital, where authorities said he was unresponsive.
The incident began when White sprayed a Transportation Security Administration officer who was checking boarding passes with wasp spray, according to Normand. He quickly encountered two more TSA officers. He sprayed a second officer with the bug poison and slashed a third with the machete.
The second officer then grabbed a piece of luggage to defend himself as White chased him through a security checkpoint metal detector.
At that point, a Jefferson Parish deputy opened fire, hitting White in the face, chest and thigh.
“We don’t know what the motivation is,” Normand said. “It is still early. We’re still running that out in order to try and determine anything about this particular individual.”
It wasn’t immediately clear why White was at the airport, although he was a taxi driver and had recently received his chauffeur license.
White has little criminal history, according to Normand. He said White had some disturbing the peace charges and some traffic tickets.
There’s nothing to indicate that the incident posed any sort of national security threat, Normand said.
The officer who was slashed with the machete is being treated at a hospital with non-life threatening injures, according to the TSA.
An innocent bystander also sustained a cut to the arm, he said. And a couple of other travelers slightly injured themselves while trying to escape the scene.