Surviving inmate still on the loose after 1 escapee killed

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Report: Escaped Prisoner Richard Matt Shot By Police In N.Y.

MALONE, N.Y. (AP) -- The shooting death of one escaped killer brought new energy to the three-week hunt for his jailbreak partner as helicopters, search dogs and hundreds of law enforcement officers converged on a wooded area 30 miles from the upstate New York prison that once held them.

"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 the two killers who escaped from a maximum-security 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.

The second inmate, 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.

Officers continued to focus Saturday on rugged terrain west of Clinton Correctional Facility as they looked for Sweat. Police manned roadblocks in the neighboring towns of Malone and Duane as a helicopter buzzed over the woods.

Clinton County Sheriff David Favro said Saturday there is no evidence the two split up.

"Now it's a one-man show and it makes it more difficult for him," said Favro, whose officers are involved in the search. "And I'm sure fatigue is setting in for him as well, knowing the guy he was with has already been shot."

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.

See the number of escapees caught over the last 10 years:

"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.

Matt's body was being sent south to Albany for an autopsy, Favro 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.

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 2-foot-thick brick wall, squirmed through pipes and emerged from a manhole outside the prison.

Sweat, 35, was serving a sentence of life without parole in the killing of a sheriff's deputy in Broome County in 2002. Matt, 49, was serving 25 years to life for the killing and dismembering of his former boss. They were added to the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 Most Wanted fugitives list two weeks after getting away.

A pair of prison workers has been charged in connection with the inmates' escape.

Prosecutors said Joyce Mitchell, a prison tailoring shop instructor who got close to the men while working with them, had agreed to be their getaway driver but backed out because she felt guilty for participating. Authorities also said Mitchell had discussed killing her husband, Lyle Mitchell, as part of the plot.

Joyce Mitchell pleaded not guilty June 15 to charges including felony promoting prison contraband, which authorities said included hacksaw blades and chisels.

Authorities said the men had filled their beds in their adjacent cells with clothes to make it appear they were sleeping when guards made overnight rounds. On a cut steam pipe, the prisoners left a taunting note containing a crude caricature of an Asian face and the words "Have a nice day."

On June 24, authorities charged Clinton correction officer Gene Palmer with promoting prison contraband, tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct. Officials said he gave the two prisoners frozen hamburger meat Joyce Mitchell had used to hide the tools she smuggled to Sweat and Matt. Palmer's attorney said he had no knowledge that the meat contained hacksaw blades, a bit and a screwdriver.

See photos from the manhunt for the escaped prisoners:
23 PHOTOS
Convicted felons escape from NY prison - Escape photos
See Gallery
Surviving inmate still on the loose after 1 escapee killed
FILE - This combination of file photos released by the New York State Police shows David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt. Matt, who staged a brazen escape from an upstate maximum-security prison with Sweat and had been hunted for three weeks was shot and killed Friday, June 26, 2015. Sweat was shot and captured on Sunday, June 28. (New York State Police via AP, File)
An annotated aerial image of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. shows where the prisoners escaped and provides details of the prison. Included are mugshots of the escapees and description of their crimes. (Image via AP)
A manhole cover that was part of a prison escape is shown, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Dannemora, N.Y. The 11th day of searching for two prisoners that escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility began Tuesday with roadblocks still in place. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A manhole cover is shown in an intersection, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Dannemora, N.Y. Eleven days earlier the manhole was part of an escape route for two prisoners from the Clinton Correctional Facility, rear. The 11th day of searching began Tuesday with roadblocks still in place. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Razor wire covers a fence at the Clinton Correctional Facility, Monday, June 15, 2015 in Dannemora, N.Y. State police say more than 800 law enforcement officers are pushing on in the hunt for convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt 10 days after the two escaped from the maximum-security prison in rural New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
UNDATED: In this handout from the New York State Police, a progression image of escaped inmate Richard Matt is seen. Matt and fellow inmate David Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York on June 6, and a manhunt for them is ongoing. The image is intended to show what the inmate would look like after almost two weeks on the run. (Photo by New York State Police via Getty Images)
UNDATED: In this handout from the New York State Police, a progression image of escaped inmate David Sweat is seen. Sweat and fellow inmate Richard Matt escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York on June 6, and a manhunt for them is ongoing. The image is intended to show what the inmate would look like after almost two weeks on the run. (Photo by New York State Police via Getty Images)
An employee leaves the Clinton Correctional Facility, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in Dannemora, N.Y. Search teams are back in the woods of northern New York looking for two convicted murderers who broke out of the maximum-security prison a week and a half ago. More than 800 law enforcement officers are in the 12th day of searching for David Sweat and Richard Matt. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
An employee leaves the Clinton Correctional Facility, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in Dannemora, N.Y. Search teams are back in the woods of northern New York looking for two convicted murderers who broke out of the maximum-security prison a week and a half ago. More than 800 law enforcement officers are in the 12th day of searching for David Sweat and Richard Matt. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
PLATTSBURGH, NY - JUNE 15: Joyce Mitchell (L) , a prison worker who allegedly helped two convicts escape from prison, is lead from Plattsburgh Ciy Court after a hearing on June 15, 2015 in Plattsburgh, New York. The convicts, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escaped sometime during the night between June 5 and June 6 from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York and law enforcement are on a multi-state manhunt for their capture. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
This photo provided by the New York State Police shows Gene Palmer on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The maximum-security prison guard believed to have delivered tools inside frozen meat to two inmates before they escaped was arrested on Wednesday, authorities said. (New York State Police via AP)
A New York State Police officer escorts suspended Clinton Correctional Facility guard Gene Palmer, left, from Plattsburgh Town Court in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Wednesday, June 24, 2015. Palmer is believed to have delivered tools inside frozen meat to two Clinton Correctional Facility inmates before they escaped on June 6. He faces charges including promoting prison contraband and tampering with physical evidence, state police said. (Rob Fountain/The Press-Republican via AP)
PLATTSBURGH, NY - JUNE 15: Joyce Mitchell (L) appears before Judge Buck Rogers in Plattsburgh City Court on June 15, 2015 in Plattsburgh, New York. Mitchell allegedly aided inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat in their escape from Clinton Correctional Facility. They were discovered missing the morning of June 6. (Photo by G.N. Miller - Pool/Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown the escape path where two convicted murderers fled from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown the escape path where two convicted murderers fled from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shown the escape path where two convicted murderers fled from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo walks past jail cells where two convicted murderers fled from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, shoes a note where two convicted murderers used power tools to cut through steel pipes at the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, shows where two convicted murderers escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, shows where two convicted murderers used power tools to cut through steel pipes at the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
DANNERMORA, NY - JUNE 6: In this handout from the New York State Governor's Office, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (R) is shown the manhole where two convicted murderers escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility June 6, 2014 in Dannemora, New York. Police are on a manhunt for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, who escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole. (Photo by Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office via Getty Images)
A guard house stands above the wall of the Clinton Correctional Facility, Monday, June 15, 2015, in Dannemora, N.Y. State police say more than 800 law enforcement officers are pushing on in the hunt for convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt 10 days after the two escaped from the maximum-security prison in rural New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION
Read Full Story

People are Reading