JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. -- Two Johnson County families recounted scary moments to FOX 4 after a machete wielding man rushed the New Orleans airport last Friday. Now back in the metro, they say they went from having fun in the sun in Florida to dodging bullets in the airport.
The Folkers family of Leawood found the whole thing terrifying.
“All we could think about was the Colorado shooting with the movie theatre. We were just thinking, oh my, this is the end for us,’” Clair Folkers said.
"I couldn't understand how someone got through security with a machete. And then to hear that there were bombs... what could have happened?” Stephanie Folkers said.
Authorities say 63-year old Richard White stormed the security checkpoint, sprayed bug spray in the faces of passengers and TSA agents, and charged one with a machete. He was eventually stopped when an off-duty deputy shot him.
Fifteen-year-old Caden Merrick and his family had been headed back to the metro from vacation as well. Caden doesn't consider himself a hero, but admitted he had to swallow his fears in order to protect his younger siblings.
"I grabbed them both by the collar and ran far away, like to the airport window and I dove on top of them just in case," Caden said.
He didn't stop there, rushing over to a woman who was wheelchair bound.
"People were running by her just leaving her. I ran over and grabbed her and pushed her until her daughter finally showed up," he said.
Both families now have stories they will likely never forget, plus a greater sense of awareness and gratitude.
White died of his injuries on Saturday afternoon. Authorities also found explosives and smoke bombs in his car.