KENNER, LA (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said a machete-wielding man was shot by an officer and several people were injured in the chaos that followed Friday at Louis Armstrong International Airport.
The incident began at about 8 p.m.
According to Normand, a man identified as 62-year-old Richard White - who was not traveling - tried to get past a Southwest Airlines security checkpoint and was confronted by a TSA agent.
Following is the JPSO's account of the incident, sent as an emailed news release:
Traveler Cameron Matthews reported hearing several shots and then seeing people running. She said she hid until the incident was over. Passenger Jeremy Didier reported seeing someone "jump past the security guards waving a machete and cutting people."
Several people running from the scene sustained non-life-threatening injuries from falls as they scrambled to get away. In all, four people were taken to East Jefferson General Hospital, one of them in serious condition. Six people were evaluated by EMS at the scene and declined further medical treatment.
White is currently hospitalized and undergoing surgery, Normand said. He said investigators have made contact with his family members.
White is a cab driver who had recently acquired a chauffeur's license. He had no known criminal history except for some traffic attachments.
Police cordoned off the area around a vehicle outside the airport that they believe belongs to White. Technicians and bomb-sniffing dogs went to work processing the vehicle out of an abundance of caution, Normand said.
Airport spokeswoman Michelle Wilcut sent the following via email: "There was an incident at the Concourse B checkpoint of Armstrong International Airport this evening. The location has been secured. The airport remains operational on concourses C and D. Southwest Airlines will operate out of concourse C. The airport access road is open at this time."
Mayor Mitch Landrieu released the following statement:
Some flights were delayed or canceled. Travelers were advised to check with their airlines for details.