Machete Attack at New Orleans Airport


All parts of the New Orleans, Louisiana, airport were open Saturday morning, just hours after a man attacked security agents there with insecticide and a machete.

A sheriff’s office lieutenant shot the attacker, 62-year-old Richard White, three times, hitting him in the face, chest and thigh, authorities said.

White was undergoing surgery at a hospital late Friday. A female security officer whom he had been chasing through the airport also was hospitalized with a bullet wound in the arm.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a statement saying that Transportation Security Admninistration “agents, law enforcement officers and airport officials all acted quickly to stop the perpetrator and secure the scene.”

Witnesses described a chaotic scene at the Louis Armstrong International Airport. Passengers who had been waiting for security checks before boarding their flights were yelling and scrambling to take cover, as White, a taxi driver, attacked the TSA agents.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said White walked up to a checkpoint and began spraying wasp repellent at security guards and passengers. Pulling a large machete from his waistband, he swung it at passengers and guards, one of whom deflected the blade with a piece of luggage.

The man ran through the large gate that performs full-body scans on all travelers before being shot.

A few passengers suffered minor cuts in the chaos.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said it did not appear that White was scheduled to board any flight, and it was unclear why he came to the airport.

Normand’s staff said records showed White had been arrested a few times in the past for minor offenses.