Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office
Duty Station: New Orleans
Hometown: Ignace, Mich., and Gretna, La.
On March 20, 2015, Richard White, an unticketed individual entered Concourse B at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. White began to attack unarmed Transportation Security Officers and innocent passengers with wasp spray. When confronted, he removed a large machete from his waistband and wielded the knife at officers and bystanders. As White attempted to force his way through the checkpoint, he wielded the machete at Transportation Security Administration Supervisory Transportation Security Officer Carol Richel. Richel’s first instinct was to ensure the safety of passengers and her coworkers. She was grazed by a bullet as Jefferson Parrish Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Heather Sylve fired shots during the attack. Despite her injuries, Officer Richel went back to secure her station, and returned to work the next day. In the aftermath of the event, law enforcement officials located Molotov cocktails and smoke bombs in White’s vehicle and in a bag he left on the concourse.