Update, 3 p.m. March 21, 2015: Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand updates incident, says White was found to have Molotov cocktails in a bag he was carrying in the airport along with smoke bombs and three tanks in the trunk of his car. Click here to read more details.
Update, 12:30 p.m. March 21, 2015: As of Saturday morning, no charges had been filed against White, because he was still "incapacitated, in serious condition," and officers had not had a chance to speak with him, according to a JPSO spokesman.
White has a "minor" criminal history, according to JPSO.
"He has some traffic infractions, things like that, nothing serious," a JPSO spokesman said.
Update, 12 p.m. March 21, 2015: JPSO reports White remains in serious condition after surgery Friday night at a local hospital.
Original story, March 21, 2015
Witnesses reportedly describe chaos at New Orleans' Louis Armstrong International airport on Friday night after a man was shot and seriously wounded by a law enforcement officer following a confrontation with Transportation Security Administration agents at the entrance to heavily used Concourse B.
Mobile/tablet users: Click here to see the video.
"This guy comes running with a machete over his head, swinging it through security, and then he hops a bench and comes toward my wife and I, and I start swinging my suitcase at him, and he runs the other way, right into a TSA agent," passenger Mike Cross told WWL-TV.
Said Phillip Green of Houston: "It was pandemonium after that. I took cover. I didn't want to become part of the story."
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said the aggressor, Richard White, for unknown reasons, challenged the TSA agents and tried to go through the preclearance lane, causing one of the agents to ask him to halt.
Normand said White then sprayed two agents with a can of wasp spray and struck a female agent with a machete, causing a laceration to her arm.
One of the TSA agents and White ran down into the concourse, with White still swinging the machete. JPSO Lt. Heather Slyve ired three shots, striking White in his chest, face and thigh, Normand said.
As of Friday night, White was in surgery at a local hospital and was alive.
He said a bystander suffered a graze wound from one of the shots, and a few other bystanders received cuts or abrasions in the melee.
A heavy police presence remained into the night. On Saturday all airport operations are running as usual, said airport spokeswoman Michelle Wilcut.
Wilcut said operations at Armstrong International had returned to normal around 2 a.m. She referred to a statement on the airport's website.
"Following an incident tonight at Louis Armstrong International Airport, the situation is under control and the airport is secure. There is no threat to the public at this time, and the airport is returning to normal operations," Wilcut said. "TSA agents, law enforcement officers and airport officials all acted quickly to stop the perpetrator and secure the scene. Our thoughts are with our security officials injured in the line of duty, and we wish them a full and speedy recovery."