White, who appears to be African-American, died yesterday afternoon from his gunshot wounds, according to officials.
“As you know this was an unexpected incident involving a clearly troubled and disturbed individual,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at a Saturday afternoon press conference.
White caused havoc at the New Orleans International Airport late Friday when he went after the two Transportation Security Agency workers brandishing the machete and wasp spray. Frequent business travelers said they were stunned by a sight not often seen in an airport.
When they looked at the surveillance video after the incident, officials noticed White had been carrying a bag. Inside the bag they found six half-pint mason jars filled with gasoline and with cloth wicks and also a barbecue lighter, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said.
In the trunk of his car on the airport ramp they found an acetylene tank, a freon tank and an oxygen tank.
Normand said White suffered from mental illness. They had no idea of what he was planning. Normand said he had “little to no criminal history” aside from a few disturbing the peace and traffic charges.
Normand said White approached the airport security checkpoint Friday evening, pulled out a can of the insecticide and began spraying two agents and several passengers standing in line. Then he drew a large machete from the waistband of his pants. When the male officer grabbed some luggage to defend himself from the machete, White started chasing him.
White ran through the detector chasing the female TSA agent. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Lt. Heather Slyve drew her weapon and approached White, who continued swinging his machete.
Slyve fired three rounds, striking White in the face, chest and leg. One of her bullets struck a TSA agent in the arm, police said.
“The man was within inches of whacking me with a machete,” said the agent, who gave her name as Carol, said at a press conference. “This man was swinging very hard, very hard with that machete.”
“Thank God the officer was as close as she was because I wouldn’t be here today,” the TSA agent said.