Watch CBSN Live

Report: Escaped convict was drunk when gunned down

MALONE, N.Y. - Officers scouring dense and boggy woods for a surviving escaped killer took floodlights into the search area overnight Saturday, and others carrying rifles manned checkpoints and examined vehicles, opening trunks and peering into windows.

On Sunday afternoon, the succeeded, catching David Sweat near the Canadian border.

Escaped inmate N.Y. Richard Matt was shot and... 01:22

Richard Matt - who once vowed never to be taken alive - was fatally shot Friday during an encounter with border patrol agents about 30 miles west of the prison he escaped from with Sweat on June 6.

Matt was sick and drunk when police caught up with him, The Buffalo News reports. Investigators told the newspaper that the finding of Matt's soiled underwear before they caught up with him indicated he was likely ill from consuming contaminated food or water.

One of the tips that led investigators to Matt was a local reporting one of their cabins having been broken into, with empty or half-drunken bottles of booze lying everywhere, the Buffalo News reports. Officials said Matt's corpse reeked of alcohol.

Sweat remained on the lam after Matt's shooting, and about 1,200 searchers focused intensely on 22 square miles encompassing thick forests and heavy brush around where Matt was killed. Officials expressed hope the same difficult conditions that plagued Matt, who looked like he had spent significant time outdoors when he was killed, would lead Sweat to give up.

Police said the pair likely suffered greatly from the stress of little sleep, scant food and biting bugs.

"Anyone in the woods and on the run from the law so to speak is not getting a full eight hours sleep, they're not eating well and they have to keep moving," Mulverhill said.

The manhunt broke open Friday afternoon when a person towing a camper heard a loud noise and thought a tire had blown. Finding there was no flat, the driver drove eight miles before looking again and finding a bullet hole in the trailer. A tactical team responding to the scene of the shot smelled gunpowder inside a cabin and saw evidence that someone had fled out the back door.

A noise - perhaps a cough - ultimately did Matt in. A border patrol team discovered Matt, who was shot after failing to heed a command to raise his hands.

Matt had a 20-gauge shotgun that was believed to have been taken from another cabin. The pair had apparently been relying on the remote region's many hunting camps and seasonal dwellings for supplies.

Matt, who turned 49 the day before he died, was serving 25 years to life at Clinton Correctional Facility for the killing and dismemberment of his former boss. Local residents were relieved that one killer was no longer roaming the woods, but the constant commotion of speeding police cruisers and helicopters pointed to the continued danger.

One of the escaped prisoners in New York stat... 02:48

Sweat, 35, was serving a sentence of life without parole in the killing of a sheriff's deputy in Broome County in 2002. Mulverhill said investigators believe he may be armed.

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.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.