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Escaped convict David Sweat shot and captured


Convicted killer David Sweat is back in the custody of law enforcement, and will likely never see the outside world again. After spending three weeks on the run in the Adirondack region of northern New York, a State Police Sergeant shot Sweat not far from the Canadian Border.

It has been more than three weeks since the June 6 escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. The two used power tools to break through the walls of their cells and work their way out through the prison infrastructure to the streets outside.

Two days after Richard Matt was shot and killed in a confrontation with Border Patrol Agents, David Sweat was found walking along an isolated road in Constable, New York. On a local patrol around 3:20 p.m. Sunday, Sergeant Jay Cook of the New York State Police spotted the fugitive. When Sweat attempted to flee arrest and re-enter the woods, Cook shot him.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sweat’s capture to a group of law enforcers assembled in Malone, New York.

“Today ends with good news,” said Cuomo, as the crowd cheered and gave applause. “These were really dangerous, dangerous men, both Matt and Sweat. They were killers. Mr. Matt killed at least two people. Mr. Sweat killed a Sheriff’s Deputy in Broome County in a savage, savage way. So these were dangerous people. We could not tolerate them being on the loose.”

State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico explained concerns over Sweat’s proximity to Canada.

Credit File photo
David Sweat was shot and captured on Sunday.

“This event took place about a mile and a half from the Canadian border. Our concern was that they could have made it to the border and we were pushing southward from the border, and I think that it was effective today, being in the right area where Sweat was, I can only assume he was going for the border that he was that close. We couldn’t be happier that we were able to apprehend him and not lose him. It’s been a long three weeks,” said D’Amico.

Sweat is currently being treated for his wounds at Albany Medical Center. He faces criminal charges in the escape, in addition to already serving life without parole.

D’Amico said Troopers are investigating the entire hunt for Matt and Sweat. He and Governor Cuomo said a separate probe is underway into how the two killers escaped. In addition to a prison employee and a corrections officer already in custody, the question remains of who might have helped Matt and Sweat escape.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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