2nd New York Prison Escapee Shot, Captured Alive

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Photo Courtesy: CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) — Three weeks after their stunning prison break, Richard Matt and David Sweat have been caught — with one now dead, the other critically wounded.

The 22-day manhunt for Sweat ended Sunday when the fugitive was spotted just 2 miles from the Canadian border. He made it closer to Canada than Matt, who was found and killed Friday near Malone, New York.

Both men had signs of roughing it in the woods: Matt had bug bites on his legs and Sweat had a backpack stuffed with maps and Pop-Tarts.

New York State Police Sgt. Jay Cook spotted Sweat near a barn in the sleepy New York town of Constable. Sweat bolted, and the lone officer gave chase.

“At some point, running across a field, he realized that Sweat was going to make it to a tree line, and possibly could have disappeared, and he fired two shots,” New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico told reporters.

Sweat, who was unarmed, was struck twice in the torso. No one else was hurt.
Cook was justified in shooting Sweat even though the fugitive was unarmed, said Ed Gavin, former deputy warden for the New York City Department of Corrections.

“Article 35 of the (New York) penal law permits you to use deadly physical force to stop a fleeing felon who is either charged with a felony or convicted of a felony,” Gavin said. “So the police officer was spot on.”

A photo exclusively obtained by CNN shows Sweat in custody moments after his capture. He appears bloodied in the photo and is wearing a camouflage outfit, not prison garb.

CNN exclusive photo shows David Sweat during his capture.

“I can only assume he was going for the border, that he was that close,” D’Amico said.

Sweat was taken to Albany Medical Center, where he was in critical condition late Sunday night, medical director Dennis McKenna said.

It’s critically important that Sweat stay alive, officials said, so authorities can learn exactly how he and Matt escaped — and who helped them.

But for now, “the nightmare is finally over,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “We wish it didn’t happen in the first place. But if you have to have it happen, this is how you want it to end.”

Cook was justified in shooting Sweat even though the fugitive was unarmed, said Ed Gavin, former deputy warden for the New York City Department of Corrections.

“Article 35 of the (New York) penal law permits you to use deadly physical force to stop a fleeing felon who is either charged with a felony or convicted of a felony,” Gavin said. “So the police officer was spot on.”

A photo exclusively obtained by CNN shows Sweat in custody moments after his capture. He appears bloodied in the photo and is wearing a camouflage outfit, not prison garb.
Bug repellent and Pop-Tarts
Not only did Sweat manage to swap his prison garb for camouflage, he also had a backpack full of supplies, the governor said.

“He had maps, he had a certain amount of tools, he had bug repellent, he had wipes, he had Pop-Tarts,” Cuomo told CNN’s “New Day.”

It’s not clear whether Sweat acquired those supplies before his escape, or if he stole or collected them while on the run.

As for Matt, an examination of his body revealed “bug bites on the lower extremities, blisters, and minor abrasions consistent with living in the woods for three weeks,” state police said.
What’s next for Sweat
In addition to his current life sentence, Sweat will probably spend at least seven years in solitary confinement, said Jeff Dumas, a retired sergeant at Clinton Correctional Facility.

So what incentive would Sweat have have to talk to investigators? Possibly getting out of solitary confinement early, Dumas said.

“It’s a bargaining chip for him now,” he said. “Within the department, he’s going to be locked into a cell, 23 out of 24 hours a day, in solitary confinement. … He’s going to try to use that chip with New York state so he isn’t locked into 23 out of 24 (hours) for an extended period of time.”

But even if Sweat talks, he might not have an incentive to tell the truth.

“That’s what you have to worry about — what’s in it for him?” Dumas said. “We will see if this guy is narcissistic, if he has that type of ego that he wants to display everything that he’s done and actually tell the truth, or if he’s going to mislead investigators and just play a game to entertain himself while he’s locked in.”

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