Machete-wielding taxi driver shot three times in New Orleans airport

The motive for the attack remains unclear

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The Independent US

US security police have shot a man waving a machete after he allegedly attempted to storm a check point in New Orleans International airport last night.

Richard White, 63, is said to have pulled out a can of wasp spray and began to spray one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer at a gate in the Louis Armstrong International Airport last night a little before 8pm before pulling a machete from his trousers and waving it at the officers present.

Mr White apparently chased the officers through the metal detector – with one TSA attempting to defend himself from the assault by brandishing a piece of luggage – before he was intercepted by an officer from the local police station.

The deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office fired three shots at Mr White, hitting him in his face, chest and thigh on the left-hand side.

One of the shots hit a TSA officer who was fleeing from Mr White’s assault.

In total six people were treated at the scene by emergency personnel and four were taken to hospital, but only one – Mr White – having sustained serious wounds, The New York Times reported.

Mr White, who lives in a suburb near the international airport and works as a taxi driver, is currently undergoing surgery.

It remains unclear what the motivation for the attack was and why Mr White – who recently received a chauffeur’s licence – was in the airport in the first place.

"We're still piecing together witness interviews," Jerfferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told reporters.

Farah Stockman, a journalist with the Boston Globe, was present when the incident unfolded.


Writing on Twitter, she reported: “People had heard gunshots. Everyone was hiding behind chairs and in doorways. Made our way to exit. Body was lying in a pool of blood.”

She later tweeted that there were lots of “terrified” people and that “Cops ran in, creating more panic.”