Police say a man attacked TSA agents with wasp spray and a machete before being shot three times on Friday evening.
The attacker, who’s been identified as 63-year-old Richard White, allegedly rushed a security checkpoint at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport shortly before 8 p.m., according to The Times-Picayune.
White was reportedly walking down the security line when a TSA agent asked to see his boarding pass, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told the paper.
Instead, he allegedly pulled out a can of wasp spray and sprayed the agent. He then charged the magnetometer, pulling a machete from his waistband as he went.
He reportedly swung the weapon at Lt. Heather Slyve, a sheriff’s deputy stationed at the checkpoint. She fired three shots at him, hitting him in the chest, face and thigh. She also hit another TSA agent in the arm and grazed a traveler.
White was taken to a local hospital for surgery. He was “unresponsive,” Normand told WDSU.
The sheriff emphasized that White had minimal criminal history – just some “disturbing the peace charges and a couple of traffic attachments.”
“We don’t know what the motivation is,” Normand said. “It is still early. We’re still running that out to try to determine anything about this particular individual.”
People who knew White say the behavior is completely out of character. “He was so meek, so mild,” said Donna Jackson, a friend of White’s told The Times-Picayune. “To hear this was Richard White … I’m flabbergasted.”
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