The mentally ill man who attacked Transportation Security Administration officers at New Orleans' international airport died Saturday, officials said. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Richard White, 63, died at 4:02 p.m. He was shot three times late Friday by a sheriff's deputy and went into surgery following the incident. White was unconscious in the hospital for most of Saturday, and it was unclear whether police were able to question him.
White approached a checkpoint at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and began spraying insecticide and threatening people with a machete. The Associated Press reported White was carrying a bag with six Molotov cocktails, a lighter and a letter opener. He also had tanks of acetylene, freon and oxygen in his car.
â€” CBS News (@CBSNews) March 21, 2015
Once White began chasing a TSA officer with the machete, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Lt. Heather Slyve shot him three times, CNN reported. Bullets hit White’s chest, thigh and face.
Bystanders received only minor injuries from trying to get out of the way. Slyve accidentally shot TSA agent Carol Richel while trying to take White down, but Richel's wounds were not life-threatening.
"She is my hero," Richel told reporters. "Thank God she was there."
White was hospitalized Friday in serious condition, Sheriff Newell Normand told the AP. The suspect declined some medical treatment due to his Jehovah’s Witness religious beliefs. His reason for the Friday airport attack remained a mystery. "We don't know what his motive was," Col. John Fortunato told a news conference Saturday.
White’s family had been cooperating with the investigation, and he appeared to have acted alone. “There is no threat to the public at this time, and the airport is returning to normal operations," spokeswoman Michelle Wilcut told the Advocate.