TSA Officer Attacked by Man with Machete at New Orleans Airport

Andre Pierce sent in this photo from the airport (Photo: Andre Pierce)
Andre Pierce sent in this photo from the airport (Photo: Andre Pierce)

A machete-wielding man who slashed at TSA officers and sprayed them with wasp spray was shot by a non-TSA officer Friday night at Armstrong International Airport.

The incident sent passengers and airport employees scrambling to safety and affected flights arriving from and departing from concourse B.

​​The suspect, 63-year-old Richard White, was taken to the hospital and was last reported as ‘unresponsive,’ according to Sheriff Newell Normand.

Normand said eyewitnesses reported that White approached a TSA agent and sprayed that person in the face with wasp spray from a can. Normand said White got past the first agent and headed for the second TSA agent, again spraying the wasp spray, before pulling out a machete and striking another agent, who grabbed a piece of luggage for protection.

Normand said the third TSA agent called a non-TSA officer for help, and as White continued to chase him, the officer showed up on the scene and fired three times, striking White.

The TSA agents who were sprayed and slashed were not suffering from life-threatening injuries.

Roads to the airport were initially closed and those in the affected concourse were moved to safety. Normand said the airport was closed for less 20 minutes.

Concourse B has been closed for the time being and airport officials said operations were being moved to Concourses C and D. The airport access road is now open.

A check of the Armstrong International web site shows that several flights coming in on Southwest Airlines and a couple leaving have been delayed.


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