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Escaped N.Y. Prisoner Richard Matt Fatally Shot By Police

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

After nearly three weeks on the run, one of the two convicted murderers who broke out of a New York state prison has been killed. Officers tracked down Richard Matt in northern New York. He was shot near a cabin where investigators said earlier that they had found evidence of at least one of the escaped prisoners. Zach Hirsch of North Country Public Radio is on the line to talk about the latest developments. Hi, Zach.

ZACH HIRSCH, BYLINE: Hi, Rachel.

MARTIN: New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, had a news conference tonight, and, along with police officials, spoke about how Richard Matt was killed. What details did they give?

HIRSCH: So they said there had been these burglaries in the area over the last few days. And then someone reported that their RV was shot at, so police came to that area where they - and they found a cabin where Richard Matt had been. And Joseph D'Amico of the New York State Police detailed what happened next.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

D'AMICO: A tactical team met up with Matt in the woods, challenged him, and he was shot dead by border patrol at that time. We recovered a .20 gauged shotgun from Matt's body at the location.

MARTIN: What about the other convict, David Sweat? Do we assume he's still at large?

HIRSCH: Yes. So there's no reason to think he wasn't with Richard Matt, but no one has actually reported seeing him. And they said he could still be out there.

MARTIN: Where do authorities think the men were headed? Do they have any idea at this point?

HIRSCH: So over the last few days, they've been picking up this trajectory of traces of the men moving west and north away from the prison towards Canada, but there's no way of knowing whether that was actually their goal.

MARTIN: And, Zach, just remind us who these two men are, what crimes they committed.

HIRSCH: Yeah. So these are men who committed some really brutal crimes. They're both convicted murderers serving life sentences. David Sweat murdered a sheriff's deputy. Richard Matt is convicted of two murders. And these were pretty brutal crimes.

MARTIN: And any more information on how they were able to escape?

HIRSCH: Yeah. There's nothing really at the moment. The state has this pending probe, and those details will be coming hopefully within the next few weeks.

MARTIN: North Country Public Radio's Zach Hirsch. One of the escaped convicts in the New York state manhunt was shot and killed today by police just south of the Canadian border. Thanks so much for talking with us.

HIRSCH: Yeah. Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Corrected: February 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM EST
The reporter for this story is Zach Hirsch, not Brian Mann as in a previous byline.