Richard White, 63, carried out an attack on a New Orleans airport on Friday

By Maria Mercedes Lara
Updated March 23, 2015 12:10 PM
Credit: TSA Handout/Reuters

Richard White, the man who was suspected of carrying out a machete attack in a New Orleans airport on Friday, has died, USA Today reports.

The 63-year-old suspect was shot three times at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport after he attacked a TSA agent in a brazen attempt to allegedly bomb the airport. Authorities announced the news of his death in a press conference on Saturday.

White reportedly rushed a security checkpoint shortly before 8 p.m., spraying wasp spray at an agent who asked to see his boarding pass. He then took out a machete and allegedly swung it at Lt. Heather Slyve, a sheriff’s deputy stationed at the checkpoint, who in turn shot White three times.

White also chased TSA agent Caroll Richel with his machete and grazed another traveler.

Richel, who was hit in the arm by one of the rounds fired by Slyve, called the deputy her “hero,” saying she saved her life.

White was taken to a hospital, where he died on Saturday evening.

Authorities say White was carrying a bag with six Molotov cocktails and a barbecue lighter. They also found an acetylene tank, smoke bombs and other supplies in his car, the Associated Press reports.

The dramatic scene was captured by passengers in the airport, including Boston Globe columnist Farah Stockman, who called the TSA agents “brave.”

It isn’t clear why White carried out his attack on the airport. In a press conference, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the incident “an unexpected attack by a clearly troubled and disturbed individual.”

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