Malone, New York (CNN) — Richard Matt, one of two escaped murderers from an upstate New York maximum-security prison, was shot and killed by officers involved in a massive three-week manhunt, three law enforcement sources said Friday.
Officers are still pursuing fugitive David Sweat but don’t have eyes on the convict, according to law enforcement sources.
A possible ending to the 21-day manhunt began around 1:30 p.m. when police received a call of shots fired near Route 30 in the vicinity of Malone, New York, according to law enforcement officials briefed on the matter. About 20 minutes later, more gunshots were heard.
The driver of a recreational vehicle called 911 when he heard the initial shots and later when he realized his camper was hit, the officials said.
About 3:45 p.m., a law enforcement officer saw a man in a wooded area in Malone, the state police said. A man believed to be Matt was shot and killed but a positive identification is pending, according to state police.
Matt approached an officer with a shotgun and was shot by a border patrol tactical team, law enforcement sources said.
Bob Willett, a Malone resident, also called 911 Friday afternoon when he found a liquor bottle on the kitchen table at his cabin, his cousin Mitch Johnson told CNN.
Willett was speaking with responding authorities in his yard when gunfire erupted behind the house, according to Johnson.
Willett was told to go into the house, where he has been since, Johnson said.
Two sets of footprints were found in the area, the law enforcement officials said. The second set are believed to belong to Sweat.
The search for Sweat was unfolding around Elephant Head, northwest of Lake Titus and about 10 miles from Malone, according to Clinton County Sheriff David Favro.
At a command center near the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, law enforcement helicopters were taking off to join the search. Passing motorists honked in approval at news of Matt’s death.
The shooting occurred on a day the New York State Police reported that Matt and Sweat might have been 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 on Thursday in Malone, State Police spokesman Beau Duffy told CNN. Malone is about 14 miles northwest of Mountain View, where another cabin was burglarized.
Evidence found in the Malone cabin was being tested, Duffy added. At the time, the fugitives had not been seen, but “we’re certain that the evidence is conclusive,” State Police Maj. Charles Guess said Friday at a news conference.
More than 1,100 law enforcement officers have been pursuing new leads with a “high degree of confidence,” Guess said.