Richard Matt, one of two escaped murderers from an upstate New York prison, has been shot and officers involved in a three-week manhunt are pursuing fugitive David Sweat, a law enforcement source briefed on the investigation said Friday.
“Matt has been shot, he’s down,” Lenny DePaul, a former U.S. Marshal told CNN. “Apparently he’s been hit. Not sure what his status is at this point.”
The shooting occurred on a day that the New York State Police reported that Matt and Sweat may be headed to Canada.
Investigators were conducting DNA tests on potential new evidence, a source close to the investigation said.
A reported burglary led police to a cabin Thursday in the town of Malone, New York, State Police spokesman Beau Duffy told CNN.
Conclusive evidence was found in the cabin, which is being tested, he added.
“There has been no definitive credible sighting based on a physical description to pair with the evidence, but we’re certain that the evidence is conclusive,” State Police Maj. Charles Guess said Friday at a news conference.
DePaul told CNN he believes the shooting occurred in Malone but had no confirmation.
“They stuck together,” he said.”They needed each other.”
More than 1,100 law enforcement officers have been pursuing new leads with a “high degree of confidence,” Guess said.
Two prison employees have been charged in connection with the men’s elaborate June 6 breakout, and the accusations against them highlight a series of apparent security lapses.
Investigators from the New York State Inspector General’s Office are looking into possible breaches of security protocols that allowed Matt and Sweat to escape, setting police on a vast and costly manhunt for the past three weeks.
Other agencies are conducting investigations at the prison.
Hundreds search dense woods
As the investigations into shortcomings at Clinton continue, hundreds of law enforcement officers have been searching for Sweat and Matt in a densely wooded area roughly 20 miles west of the prison.
The fugitives are also believed to have burglarized a hunting cabin in the small rural community of Mountain View, New York.
Searchers had been combing the thick vegetation in the surrounding area in the hopes of finally catching the men.