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Sources say escapee David Sweat in custody after being shot twice by NY state trooper

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Posted at 1:09 PM, Jun 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-28 19:40:16-04

By Deborah Feyerick, Alexandra Field and Dana Ford

CNN

MALONE, New York (CNN) — [Breaking news, posted at 7:30 p.m. ET]

Prison escapee David Sweat was captured Sunday about a mile and a half from the Canadian border, New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico told reporters.

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

Sweat was captured about 16 miles north of the location where fellow escapee Richard Matt was killed last week, D’Amico said.

“The nightmare is finally over,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters at a news conference Sunday discussing details of the capture.

Sweat was shot twice in the torso, the governor said.

The investigation into the escape of the two inmates from a New York prison is far from over, now that escapee Sweat is back in custody, Cuomo told reporters.

“Now that we have Mr. Sweat, it gives us the opportunity to have some more questions and provide more facts on the overall situation,” he said. “Anyone who we find who was culpable and guilty of cooperating in the escape will be fully prosecuted.”

[Original story, posted at 6:51 p.m. ET]

A massive, more-than-three-week manhunt for David Sweat ended Sunday as it began, with the escaped murderer in custody.

A New York State Police sergeant on roving patrol saw Sweat, and after Sweat ran, the sergeant shot him, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. It did not appear Sweat was armed, the official said.

A photo exclusively obtained by CNN shows Sweat in custody moments after his capture. The photograph shows him bloodied and wearing a camouflage outfit — not prison garb.

He was taken into custody in the town of Constable, in upstate New York, close to the Canadian border.

“At approximately 3:20 p.m. on June 28, Sergeant Jay Cook of the New York State Police spotted a suspicious man walking down a roadway,” state police said in a statement.

“Sergeant Cook shot and injured Clinton Correctional Facility escapee David Sweat. Sweat was taken into police custody alive, then taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries,” it read.

Sweat was transported to the Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, an officer at the hospital told CNN. His condition was not immediately clear. A law enforcement source said Sweat was shot twice.

He will be treated at Albany Medical Center, said Tania Allard, the hospital’s assistant vice president for communications. Allard said she could not specify when Sweat would arrive, but said he was “on his way” to the facility.

No law enforcement officers were injured during his apprehension.

The arrest wraps up the hunt for Sweat and his prison-break partner, Richard Matt. Matt was shot dead Friday.

Sweat was imprisoned at the Clinton Correctional Facility for shooting dead an officer who pursued him after a robbery he committed.

Behind bars, Sweat and Matt cozied up to a prison tailor and a guard who allegedly brought them tools, which they used to cut their way through a labyrinth of multiple barriers and underground passageways. They emerged to freedom through a manhole in the middle of a street.

Guards discovered them missing on June 6, during a routine bed check.

Law enforcement experts stressed Sunday that it’s crucial Sweat survive so that officials can learn exactly how he and Matt escaped, and who helped them.

Search teams like the ones looking for Sweat routinely include highly trained medics who could immediately begin to treat a gunshot wound, former Navy SEAL Jonathan Gilliam told CNN as the news of Sweat’s shooting broke.

“I’m sure he’s getting critical care very rapidly,” he said.

The search

Earlier Sunday, about 1,300 federal, state and local law enforcement officers were searching vehicles at roadblocks and scouring dense woods in upstate New York for Sweat.

Since he and Matt broke out of the maximum security prison in Dannemora together — and appeared to stick together on their flight from the law — authorities were hopeful they could be right on Sweat’s heels after encountering Matt.

Searchers had at times followed two sets of footprints, but when they gunned Matt down one day after his 49th birthday, there was no sign of Sweat nearby.

So, on all-terrain vehicles and in helicopters, they continued looking for the man who eluded them for three weeks, using infrared vision devices to peer through the night.

That search was focused on an area along New York’s State Route 30 between County Route 41 in the town of Malone and County Route 26 in the town of Duane, state police said.

‘Thank God!’

Audra Buchanan of Constable said she was stunned to hear recently that Sweat could be near her home.