This evening, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo gave an update on the search for escaped inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat in Malone, New York. The Governor was joined by members of various local, state and federal law enforcement agencies assisting in the search.
At approximately 3:45 p.m. today, a member of law enforcement spotted, shot and killed a man believed to be Clinton Correctional Facility escapee Richard Matt. A positive identification is still pending. Law enforcement are still searching for escapee David Sweat.
AUDIO of the Governor’s remarks is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is included below:
Thank you and good evening to all of you. I want to thank the New York State Police for being here, the Department of Corrections services, DEC, our partners from the FBI, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. We have the Vermont State Police here, Clinton County District Attorney, the Franklin County District Attorney, the sheriffs from Franklin and Clinton, Plattsburgh City Police, Malone Village Police Department and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police.
This afternoon, as has been reported, there was a civil complaint – civilian complaint in the Town of Duane. There was a gunshot that was fired at a camping trailer. The State Police responded to investigate the complaint. They came upon a cabin. They went inside the cabin. They detected the smell of gunpowder. The law enforcement partners were then notified and the Customs and Border Patrol tactical team helicoptered in and approached the site. The team came upon Matt, who was an escaped prisoner from Dannemora, engaged Mr. Matt, who was armed, and Mr. Matt was shot and killed.
We have no reason to believe that Mr. Sweat was not with Mr. Matt at the time, but we don’t have any confirming evidence that he was either. There are several leads that are being tracked down as we speak about Mr. Sweat and his possible whereabouts, but we don’t have anything to confirm where Mr. Sweat is at this time.
I want to thank New Yorkers – I want to thank the people of Clinton County and Franklin County, who have put up with a lot over these past 20 days. We’ve had over 2,300 leads, so New Yorkers have been very helpful in responding to put an end to this crisis.
I want to thank our partners in law enforcement who have done an extraordinary job – our local partners, our federal partners, who have been away from their homes and their families to come here and help us over these past three weeks or so.
You never want to see anyone lose their life. But, I would remind people that Mr. Matt was an escaped murderer from a state prison. Mr. Matt killed two people who we know about. Mr. Matt killed his boss in a dispute and dismembered him. He fled to Mexico and then he killed another person in Mexico and was imprisoned in Mexico.
Mr. Sweat is also dangerous. Mr. Sweat was involved in the killing of a sheriff’s deputy in Broome County where the sheriff’s deputy had come upon a crime. Mr. Sweat and his accomplices hit the sheriff’s deputy with a car, got out and shot him 22 times and then ran over him. So these are dangerous, dangerous men and that is why you see law enforcement from across this country before you today cooperating with one mission: to bring these gentlemen to justice.
I am now going to turn this over to Superintendent Joseph D’Amico, who is head of the State Police which has been heading up the investigation in cooperation with our partners. I would remind everyone that this is an ongoing investigation, so the amount of information that can be provided to the public is something that we have to watch carefully. Obviously, we do not want to give the people we are pursuing any more information than we need to. With that, Superintendent Joseph D’Amico.