Man shot at New Orleans international airport

KENNER, La. - A 63-year-old man was shot Friday at a Southwest Airlines security checkpoint in the New Orleans international airport after he cut a guard with a machete and sprayed two others with wasp spray.

Richard White entered the airport and went through the TSA pre-check line where boarding passes are checked when he was confronted by one of the guards, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told a news conference outside the airport.

White responded by spraying the guard with wasp spray, then struck a female officer with a machete, cutting her right arm, Normand said. White sprayed the male officer again before a third officer shot him, striking him in the left chest, left thigh and left facial area, the sheriff said.

Normand said White was transferred to an area hospital but was "unresponsive."

A bystander received a graze wound to the arm during the scramble to get out of the area and a few people received minor cuts from furniture, the sheriff said.

There was no information at this time of a connection between White and the airport, he said. "We don't know if he was traveling. We're still piecing together witness interviews."

"We don't know if he was traveling. We're still piecing together witness interviews."

Southwest Airlines released the following statement Friday night:

"Southwest expects no operational impact Saturday after the carrier resumed operations Friday evening following a security incident near the concourse B passenger screening checkpoint at the New Orleans Airport.

Some departure and arrival delays were caused by the closure of the checkpoint as Southwest Employees worked with airport authorities to accommodate departing and arriving Customers and aircraft on gates in non-affected areas of the airport.

Only two evening flights were canceled of the 56 Southwest scheduled departures on Friday from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Check for specific flight information."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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