1 es­caped mur­derer fa­tally shot in US woods, other on the run

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The shoot­ing death of one es­caped killer brought new energy to a weeks-long hunt for a sec­ond es­caped mur­derer as he­li­copters, search dogs and hun­dreds of law en­force­ment of­fi­cers con­verged on a wooded area 30 miles (48 kilo­me­ters) from the prison.

“Of course our pref­er­ence would al­ways be to cap­ture them alive,” New York State Po­lice Su­per­in­ten­dent Joseph D’Amico told a news con­fer­ence as he an­nounced late Fri­day the killing hours ear­lier of Richard Matt, one of two es­caped killers from an up­date max­i­mum­se­cu­rity prison.

He cred­ited a tip from the public, one of over 2,300 re­ceived so far, for cru­cial in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the deadly con­fronta­tion in Malone.

D’Amico said Matt was shot by a bor­der pa­trol agent when he failed to com­ply with com­mands in the woods near a cabin where a shot had been fired ear­lier in the day at a camp­ing trailer. A 20-gauge shot­gun was found on him, though he did not fire it at of­fi­cers, he added.

“They ver­bally chal­lenged him, told him to put up his hands. And at that time, he was shot when he didn’t com­ply,” D’Amico said.

A sec­ond con­victed mur­derer, David Sweat, has not been spot­ted since he es­caped, though ev­i­dence was found a week ago in­di­cat­ing he was with Matt in a cabin that was bur­glar­ized about 3 miles from any paved road­way, the su­per­in­ten­dent said.

An in­tense search of the area led to a dis­cov­ery Fri­day morn­ing of a camp where some­body ap­par­ently had laid down, leav­ing be­hind candy wrap­pers and other items, D’Amico said.

“You never want to see any­one lose their life,” New York state Gover­nor An­drew Cuomo told re­porters.

“But I would re­mind peo­ple that Mr Matt was an es­caped mur­derer from a state prison. Mr Matt killed two peo­ple who we know about. Mr Matt killed his boss in a dis­pute and dis­mem­bered him.”

The break­through Fri­day came shortly be­fore 2 p.m., when a per­son tow­ing a camper heard a loud sound and thought a tire had blown. Find­ing the tires in­tact, the driver went another eight miles be­fore look­ing at the trailer and find­ing a bullet hole.

Author­i­ties con­verged on the lo­ca­tion where the sound was heard and dis­cov­ered the smell of gun­fire in­side a cabin, where a weapon had been fired. D’Amico said there also was ev­i­dence some­one re­cently had fled out the back door.

“As we were do­ing the ground search in the area, there was move­ment de­tected by of­fi­cers on the ground, what they be­lieved to be coughs. So they knew that they were deal­ing with hu­mans as op­posed to wildlife,” he said.

Af­ter Matt was killed, a 20-gauge shot­gun that was be­lieved to be miss­ing from the cabin he broke into last week­end was re­cov­ered from his body, D’Amico said.

“Based on that, we con­tin­ued to search. We have a lot of peo­ple in the area. We have ca­nines and we have a de­cent perime­ter set up and we’re search­ing for Sweat at this time,” he said.

D’Amico said he had no in­for­ma­tion that Sweat was not with or near Matt so a heavy search of the area would go on.

The pair es­caped from the Clin­ton Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity to­gether early June 6. Gov. An­drew Cuomo called them “dan­ger­ous, dan­ger­ous men.”

Po­lice blocked off roads of­fi­cers hunted for Sweat in an area around Ti­tusville Moun­tain State For­est in Malone and span­ning 22 square miles.

Mitch John­son said one of his best friends checked on his hunt­ing cabin in Malone Fri­day af­ter­noon and called po­lice af­ter notic­ing the scent of grape fla­vored gin as soon as he stepped into his cabin and spot­ting the bot­tle that had gone un­touched for years rest­ing on a kitchen ta­ble.

John­son said his friend, cor­rec­tion of­fi­cer Bob Wil­lett, told him he sum­moned po­lice about an hour be­fore Matt was fa­tally shot and then heard a flurry of gun blasts.

Matt and Sweat used power tools to saw through a steel cell wall and sev­eral steel steam pipes, bashed a hole through a 60-cen­time­ter brick wall, squirmed through pipes and emerged from a man­hole out­side the prison.

AP

New York State of­fi­cers search for con­victed mur­der­ers Richard Matt and David Sweat in Malone, New York, Fri­day, June 26.

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