The man who went on a machete-wielding rampage in New Orleans airport before being shot by authorities has died. He is the only fatality in the mysterious incident. One TSA agent received minor injuries, but after investigating the suspect’s bag, they realize many could have died.
USA Today reports that the airport attacker has died while in the hospital’s care.
According to the Washington Post, the man is 63-year-old Richard White. On Friday night at about 8 p.m., he took out an aerosol can of wasp spray, a pesticide sometimes used as a weapon, and sprayed TSA agents and bystanders before taking out a machete.
White attempted to hack at one TSA agent, who blocked with a piece of luggage.
While carrying the machete, the man ran through the New Orleans airport after the unarmed TSA agent while police officers chased after him, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Eventually, an officer from the Sheriff’s office shot the man three times. He didn’t die in the shooting and was taken to the hospital unconscious.
“Fortunately, he didn’t seriously injure anybody,” said Sheriff Newell Normand.
One TSA agent was hit in the shooting, but is reportedly not that badly injured.
White had the potential to do far more dangerous.
CNN reports that authorities found six molotov cocktails, lighter fluid and a letter opener in the man’s bag. Luckily, he had no time to use them before the shooting.
The Washington Post added that they found smoke bombs and tanks of acetylene, a chemical often used in welding, in the trunk of his car.
Sheriff Nomand agreed that the New Orleans airport was fortunate, this time.
“You know, sometimes, the saying: You’d rather be lucky than good. I think we were both last night to the nth degree. I think we did a lot of things right and positive and caused certain things to happen, but by the same token — one second here, one second there — it could have been a much different outcome.”
Richard White’s motivation remains unknown. A taxi driver, White had just recently received his chauffeur license. He also has very little criminal history aside from traffic tickets and peace charges. The attack isn’t being classified as related to national security either.
In any case, New Orleans airport recovered quickly from the shooting and officials there reported, “there is no threat to the public at this time and the airport is returning to normal operations.”
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