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US Fugitive in Critical Condition After Being Shot, Captured

  • VOA News

Police officers stand over convicted murderer and prison escapee David Sweat after he was shot and captured near the Canadian border, June 28, 2015, in Constable, New York.

Police officers stand over convicted murderer and prison escapee David Sweat after he was shot and captured near the Canadian border, June 28, 2015, in Constable, New York.

One of two inmates who escaped a prison in the U.S. state of New York remained hospitalized Monday, a day after being shot and taken back into custody by police.

A hospital official said late Sunday that David Sweat was in critical condition.

He spent 23 days eluding authorities after breaking out of the maximum-security facility along with fellow inmate Richard Matt, who died Friday after being shot by a federal agent. Sweat was captured in the town of Constable, New York, about 30 kilometers from where he escaped and three kilometers from the Canadian border.

Officials expressed relief Sunday after the end of a massive weeks-long manhunt that involved more than 1,300 officers.

"The nightmare is… over," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters.

He said a state police sergeant recognized Sweat as he walked along a road, and when he tried to stop the fugitive, Sweat fled, prompting the sergeant to shoot him to prevent him from getting away and possibly crossing the border.

Sweat was serving a sentence of life without parole in the killing of a sheriff's deputy in 2002. Matt was serving 25 years to life for the killing and dismembering of his former boss.

The two escaped with the help of tools hidden in packages of frozen hamburger meat that they received. Once out of their cells, they traveled through a maze of internal passages and catwalks built for prison maintenance work and eventually emerged from a sewer outside the maximum security compound.

Two prison employees have been arrested for helping Matt and Sweat escape. Gene Palmer and Joyce Mitchell are accused of helping to smuggle in the tools, including hacksaw blades and bits for power drills. Palmer is due in court Monday, and his lawyer said he planned to plead not guilty.

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