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New York governor confirms shooting of escaped convicted killer

Police in the US state of New York have shot dead a convicted killer who had escaped Dannemora maximum security jail twenty days ago. A second convict is still on the run but police are closing in.

Police had been alerted to a wooded area in the town of Malone, 43 kilometers (27 miles) northwest of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. Richard Matt, a 49-year-old convicted murderer, was found in the woods and shot dead by police.

Joseph D'Amico, superintendent of the New York State Police said there had been two burglaries reported at backwood cabins and items believed to have been dropped by Matt were found. A third break-in near Malone was reported on Friday morning and police moved in. They confronted Matt who was holding a shotgun in the woods near the cabin.

"You never want to see anyone lose their life, but I would remind people that Matt was an escaped murderer from a state prison," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference. "He killed two people that we know about."

Matt's fellow prisoner, David Sweat, a 35-year-old who was imprisoned for killing a sheriff's deputy, is believed to be in the same area. Local television reported that authorities believe Sweat had been "contained."

The manhunt has involved 1,100 law officers.

The convicts staged their elaborate escape and were discovered missing on June 6. Two prison workers have been charged with aiding them.

Gene Palmer, a corrections officer for 27 years, has been been accused of bringing hacksaw blades and a screwdriver bit into the jail for the prisoners. A training supervisor in the prison tailor shop, Joyce Mitchell, has also been charged in connection with the escape.

jm/bk (AFP, Reuters)

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