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Man in machete attack at New Orleans airport shot by police

Published: Friday, March 20, 2015 @ 10:13 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 21, 2015 @ 9:28 AM

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A man with a machete rushed a security checkpoint at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Friday night, injuring at least two people before police shot him. Authorities confirmed that the assailant, Richard White, 62, was shot three times and taken to a hospital "unresponsive," where he underwent surgery overnight, authorities said. There was no immediate update early Saturday on White's condition.

A TSA agent was struck in the arm by a bullet while running from White, authorities said, adding the agent's wound wasn't life-threatening.

Travelers posted photos and video of the bloody attack in Concourse B on Twitter right after the incident. Many of the images are graphic, as they show the alleged attacker lying still and bloodied on the airport floor, a machete nearby.

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Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said the assailant "walked down a TSA Pre-Check security line into Concourse B at about 7:30 p.m. and was challenged by an officer who was checking for his boarding pass." (Source: NOLA.com) ,

Normand said the man sprayed a TSA officer with wasp spray, then ran past two other officers and pulled out a machete. He cut a female TSA officer in the upper bicep of her arm, Normand said.

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"Three members of the 'traveling public' also were hurt, the sheriff said. One man sustained a graze wound to his arm, believed to have been from a bullet fired by the deputy, (Normand) said." (Source: NOLA.com)

Normand said two other travelers were also injured during the scuffles involved with the incident, with cuts to their hands, feet and legs.

White has been employed as a taxi driver, recently acquired his chauffeur's license and has little or no criminal history, authorities said. His car was found outside the terminal and searched.

Investigators were trying to determine what White was doing at the airport. It did not appear that he was trying to get on a plane.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.