Man in Machete Airport Attack Has Died

He sprayed wasp killer at agents, had molotov cocktails
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2015 6:15 AM CDT
Updated Mar 21, 2015 3:29 PM CDT
Man With Machete Shot at Airport in New Orleans
Police investigate the scene.   (AP Photo/ The Times-Picayune, Michael DeMocker,

A machete-wielding man who was shot during a bizarre rampage at New Orleans' international airport died this afternoon, shortly after authorities revealed that he had also been carrying a bag of Molotov cocktails when the melee began. Richard White, 63, had been shot Friday night as he chased an unarmed Transportation Security Administration agent through a concourse full of frightened travelers—and in the direction of a sheriff's deputy, who drew her gun and fired three times. He died at 4:02pm today. Earlier, Sheriff Newell Normand said investigators discovered after the shooting that White had been carrying a bag loaded with Molotov cocktails: six Mason jars with cloth wicks soaked in gasoline.

There was also a barbeque lighter and a letter opener in the bag, Normand said at a news conference at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. White had dropped the bag during the attack. Authorities also found smoke bombs and tanks of acetylene, Freon, and oxygen in the trunk of his car. The sheriff says White had a history of mental health problems but investigators were trying to determine the nature and extent of those problems. His family has been cooperating with the investigation. White was a Jehovah's Witness and had refused "certain types of medical care," Normand says. "Fortunately, he didn't seriously injure anybody." White is a taxi driver with a "minimal" criminal record, including disturbing the peace charges, reports the Times-Picayune. (Read more New Orleans stories.)

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