Houston: A 62-year-old machete-wielding man, who attacked security staff at New Orleans international airport in the US before being shot multiple times by authorities has died from his wounds, police said.
Richard White was declared dead at 4:02 PM yesterday, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said.
Investigators had hoped to question White to find out what set off his rampage, but he appeared to have died before law enforcement officials were able to speak to him.
Earlier yesterday, officials released new details about the attack, including the fact that they believed White was mentally ill. He had brought six Molotov cocktails, a barbecue lighter and smoke bombs into the airport, they said.
White sprayed a female Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer with a can of wasp spray after the officer challenged him in the security line on Friday. He then pulled a machete out of his pants and began swinging it and sprayed a second TSA officer, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said.
A law enforcement officer shot White after he approached the security checkpoint just before 8 PM local time, officials added. One of those bullets also struck the female TSA officer in the arm.
The officials told reporters that he had earlier left a bag of explosives inside the airport concourse.
A bomb squad found smoke bombs inside his car as well, along with tanks of acetylene, Freon and oxygen, Normand said.
The motive for the attack was unclear, Sheriff Normand said. He added that White's wife and children had been "very cooperative" and had told the authorities that there was a "mental illness component" to his behaviour.
White was taken to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery. He is a taxi driver who recently received his chauffeur's license.
However, the sheriff said officials had not learned of any past episodes that might have hinted at an outburst of violence like the one Friday.
He praised the actions of the officers at the scene on Friday night and expressed relief that things had not turned out far worse.