Louis Armstrong International Airport
The main check-in area of Louis Armstrong International Airport, New OrleansReuters

A man brandishing a machete was killed by a sheriff's deputy after he tried to storm a checkpoint at Louis Armstrong International Aiport.

The dead man was named as Richard White.

He assaulted an airport TSA agent, by spraying her in the face with wasp spray, before pulling out a machete and attacking two others, according to The Examiner.

A female agent was struck on the right arm with the blade, while a male agent suffered more severe injuries.

Lt. Heather Slyve, of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, shot 62-year-old White three times in the leg, face and chest.

White was later declared dead at hospital.

According to social media accounts, travellers ran screaming, with panic and chaos at the scene.

One man received a graze wound to his arm, said to have been from a bullet fired by Slyve, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said.

"We're very fortunate with the original response by the TSA," Sheriff Normand told a press conference. "They brought order to the situation in a very short amount of time."

Police are unsure what the motivation for the attack was at this time. They declined to say if it was terror related, random, or if White was mentally ill.

The FBI who arrived at the scene, described it as a "security incident" according to ABC News.