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Richard Matt, one of two escaped inmates, dead: Sources

Pete Williams, Jonathan Dienst, Erin McClam and Tom Winter
Fugitive Richard Matt killed by police: NBC News

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Richard Matt, one of the two killers who escaped an upstate New York prison three weeks ago, was shot and killed Friday, two senior New York state officials told NBC News. (Tweet this)

The whereabouts of the second escapee, David Sweat, were not immediately known.

Matt was shot south of the town of Malone, about 40 miles from the prison, Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill of Franklin County told MSNBC.

Video shot by a bystander captured a swarm of law enforcement vehicles, and an officer could be heard saying, "We have one guy down."

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Matt and Sweat have confounded authorities since June 6, when they were reported missing after sawing through the walls of their cells, shimmying through the works of the building and popping out of a nearby manhole to freedom.

A prison seamstress, Joyce Mitchell, has been charged with helping the two escape. Authorities have said she was romanced by Matt and was originally supposed to be the getaway driver. They have said she smuggled tools to the men inside packages of raw meat.


She is accused of bringing hacksaw blades, chisels, a punch and a screwdriver bit into the prison five weeks before the escape. Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie said she also provided glasses with lights attached, presumably to be used in the tunnels.

Wylie said Mitchell planned to meet the men at around midnight on the night of the escape and pick them up, but got cold feet.

This week authorities charged a second prison worker, Gene Palmer, and said he delivered the packages.

In this handout from New York State Police, convicted murderers David Sweat (L) and Richard Matt are shown i n this composite image. Matt, 48, and Sweat, 34, escaped from the maximum security prison June 6, 2015 using power tools and going through a manhole.
Getty Images

News of the shooting came hours after a New York State Police official told reporters that the killers might have headed for Canada.

Matt, 49, was sentenced to 25 years to life in 2008 for killing and dismembering a businessman whose torso was discovered in the Niagara River by a fisherman. He had also escaped from prison once before, in 1986.

Sweat, 35, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life without parole in the shooting death of Kevin Tarsia, a sheriff's deputy in Broome County, New York, on July 4, 2002.

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