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‘The nightmare is finally over,’ governor says about prison escapees

Staff Reports Posted 28 June 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo from Governor’s Office – Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses the media at a news conference in Malone after the governor declared the search for prison escapees over after 22 days.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this evening a second prison escapee from the Clinton Correctional Facility is in police custody, two days after another escapee was shot and killed.

“The nightmare is finally over,” the governor said at a news conference in Malone this evening.

David Sweat and Richard Matt, both convicted murderers, broke out of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6.

David Sweat is in custody. Sergeant Jay Cook of the New York State Police spotted a suspicious man walking down a roadway in the Town of Constable at about 3:20 p.m. today. Cook pursued, shot and injured Sweat, who was taken into police custody alive, and is currently in stable condition. He will receive treatment at Albany Medical Center.

“This happened a mile and a half from the Canadian border in the Town of Constable,” Cuomo said during the news conference. “I had a chance to speak with Sgt. Cook and congratulate him on his great police work. He was alone when this happened. Sergeant Cook happens to be from Troop B, which is this area, so he knew the area well. But he was still alone and it was a very courageous act. I said to Sergeant Cook, who has two daughters – 16 and 17 – to go home tonight and tell your daughters that you’re a hero.”

Sweat was captured two days after Matt was shot and killed. On Friday at approximately 3:45 p.m., a member of law enforcement spotted, shot and killed Matt following Matt’s failure to respond to law enforcement commands. Matt had a shot gun in his possession, New York State Police reported.

Cuomo thanked law enforcement officials for their tireless efforts over the last several weeks. When the search concluded today, there were approximately 1,300 federal, state and local law enforcement members involved.

“I want to thank the people in Franklin and Clinton County personally for their courage and every law enforcement officer – literally thousands of law enforcement officers were engaged in this,” Cuomo said. “And it is nice when it ends well. We said that we were going to have a celebration at the appropriate time, but that everyone goes home safe and the escapees have been dealt with. You could not have a better ending. We wish it did not happen in the first place, but if you have to have it happen, this is the way you want it to end.”