Watch CBS News

Escaped Killer David Sweat Shot, Captured Near Canadian Border

MALONE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo said "a nightmare is finally over" Sunday evening, following the capture of David Sweat, the second of two convicted murderers who staged a brazen escape three weeks ago from a maximum-security prison upstate.

Sweat was shot and captured near the Canadian border Sunday, two days after his fellow inmate, Richard Matt, was killed in a confrontation with law enforcement officers, authorities say.

"Today ends with good news," Cuomo said. "These were really dangerous, dangerous men... we could not tolerate them being on the loose."

Escaped convict David Sweat was captured Sunday and is on his way to Albany Medical Center (Photo: WWNY)

Cuomo says that around 3:20 p.m., New York State Police Sgt. Jay Cook saw a suspicious man wearing hunting clothes jogging down a road in the town of Constable, about a mile and a half from the Canadian border and 30 miles from the prison.

Cook called out to the man and gave chase when he recognized the man as Sweat, CBS2's Matt Kozar reports.

At that point, Sweat took off running across a field, and was about to approach a tree line where he might have vanished, according to New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico.

Cook shot the man twice in the torso, Cuomo said. Sweat was then taken into custody alive, and transported to Albany Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, state police said.

Sweat was listed in stable condition, but had not yet been interviewed by investigators late Sunday, police said.

Cook, a 21-year veteran, was alone at the time of shooting, Cuomo said.

jay cook
David Sweat was apprehended after being captured and shot by Sgt. Jay Cook (Credit: NYSP)

"This was an unprecedented coming together of law enforcement on every level," Cuomo said as he praised Cook and the community.

"New Yorkers are tough, they stepped right up," Cuomo said. "They provided help. They stood with us every step of the way."

D'Amico said Sweat was not armed when he was apprehended.

Fellow inmate Matt was killed in a confrontation with law enforcement officers Friday afternoon.

D'Amico said following the shooting of Matt, a camp was located that contained DNA of the escaped prisoners. They also located picnic-style pepper shakers and investigators believe the escapees were using pepper to throw off their scent making it difficult to be tracked.

Sweat was only a mile and a half from the Canadian border when he was apprehended, officials said.

"I can only assume he was going for the border, D'Amico said.

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 Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6.

At the news conference, Cuomo said an investigation will be conducted into all systems of the prison. He says there are still many questions about the convicts' escape.

Escaped Killer David Sweat Shot, Captured Near Canadian Border

Here is look at the timeline of events:

It started June 6th -- convicted murders Richard Matt and David sweat break out of the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York.

It's the first escape at the prison in its 100 year history.

The men used power tools to cut a hole in the back of their cell and they left behind a taunting note.

(June 12th - Prison worker arrested)

June 12th - Authorities arrest and charge prison worker Joyce Mitchell for helping the men escape by providing them with tools.

Sources say Mitchell had a romantic relationship with Richard Matt.

(June 20th - inmate sighting)

June 20th - Police investigate a sighting of the escaped convicts near the New York - Pennsylvania border… hundreds of miles from the prison.

A few days later... Investigators find the inmates' DNA inside a burglarized cabin in Franklin County.

Thousands of hours of searching have been logged… but the men continue to elude capture.
Authorities say they're geared up for the long haul.

(June 24th - Second prison worker arrested)

June 24th - A second prison worker is arrested.

Officer Gene Palmer is charged after allegedly smuggling tools inside frozen meat to the inmates cell area.

(June 26th - Matt shot and killed)

June 26th - Fugitive Richard Matt is shot and killed near a cabin - 40 miles west of the prison.

He was carrying a 20-gauge shotgun.

(June 28th - Sweat shot and captured)

June 28th - Fugitive David Sweat is shot while running from a state trooper in an open field.

He's captured less than two miles from the Canadian border.

David Sweat Search
FBI agents conduct a search for convicted murderer David Sweat on June 28, 2015, near Duane, New York. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Sweat was serving a sentence of life without parole in the killing of a sheriff's deputy in Broome County in 2002. Matt 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.

The search for the escaped killers was initially concentrated around the prison and a rural community where search dogs had caught the scent of both men. The search had since been expanded to neighboring counties, and, while authorities said there was no evidence the men had gotten out of the general area, they conceded they could have been almost anywhere.

"It's a little unnerving, him being so close," said Constable resident Trevor Buchanan. "I'm just glad it's over."

David Sweat Search
(Credit: Becky G. Photographie)

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. He was shot three times in the head, according to an autopsy.

A coroner who examined Matt's body said he had been eating and drinking during his time on the run, was fittingly dressed for the outdoors and largely unassailed by the swarms of bugs present in the woods where he was shot and killed.

David Sweat Search
Corrections officers man a roadblock along Highway 30 near a wooded area where they believe escaped convict David Sweat may be hiding on June 28, 2015, near Malone, New York. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Franklin County Coroner Brian Langdon said Sunday that Matt was in good physical shape until his fatal confrontation with authorities. An autopsy by Dr. Michael Sikirica determined the cause of death to be severe skull fractures and brain injuries due to gunshot wounds to the head.

Langdon said the results of toxicology reports are several weeks away. Matt was sick and drunk when police caught up with him, The Buffalo News reported. Investigators said the finding of Matt's soiled underwear before they caught up with him indicated he may have been ill from consuming contaminated food or water.

Langdon said Matt's body was clean and he may have even showered and shaved in the time since his escape.

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.''

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said the inmates apparently used tools stored by prison contractors, taking care to return them to their toolboxes after each night's work.

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 the 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.

Dannemora, built in 1845, occupies just over 1 square mile within the northern reaches of the Adirondack Forest Preserve and is surrounded by forest and farmland. The stark white perimeter wall of the prison, topped with guard towers, borders a main street in the village's business district.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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.