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“David Sweat, the remaining prison escapee on the run in northern New York for three weeks, was shot by a state trooper on Sunday, according to the authorities.” And with that, the manhunt comes to an end. Or a New York’s brave head honcho proclaimed, “The nightmare is finally over.” . . .

The shooting occurred about 3:20 p.m. after Sgt. Jay Cook saw a suspicious man walking down a roadway in the Town of Constable, according to the state police. The sergeant ordered Mr. Sweat to stop, but he broke into a run and the sergeant, a firearms instructor, opened fire, according to the authorities. Mr. Sweat was not armed at the time.

Maybe New York authorities won’t have to deal with so many handgun applications. Or maybe some of them will actually be approved before the next prison break. Or so you’d hope.

79 Responses to Prison Escapee David Sweat Shot and Captured

      • At least he got a chance to “Have a nice day”…

        Around 22 of them, anyways…

        A nice bonus was the report that local people “who had never touched a gun before in their life” now wanted to own one.

        That’s a definite *Win*.

    • He might have actually gained a little weight in the encounter… I’d say probably 180 grains or more.

  1. Maybe I look suspicious-I hope the PO-leece don’t shoot me if I’m unarmed…BTW he looks pretty rough for 3 weeks in the woods…

  2. back to the hole with you….and may i add a thank you to the police and marshal’s that put there life’s on the line for these two pieces of waste

    • Ding… Perhaps it was a black officer back capping a cracker. Or white on white. Or I was afraid for my life while he was running away. When the PO PO fun meter is peg, when is doubt blast about.

    • Cop didn’t want to run. Cops shouldn’t have to run after suspects. They can just shoot them. Right?

      • A “suspicious person” who has not been positively identified cannot be called a fleeing felon. As was pointed out earlier, did the cops light up those Hispanic women delivering newspapers because they were fleeing felons?

        • Ok? So did that happen here? I think your looking for a reason to be mad at the cops here. An unrealated incident several years ago on the other side of the country means this cop who shot this guy wasn’t following the rules. You drunk dude?

  3. I know the guy is a scumbag, but he ran so he shot him?
    What if it wasn’t him?

    Does suspecting someone to be a prison escapee automatically void the use of force continuum and go straight to deadly force?

    • When the suspect is an escaped cop-killer, there are no rules. But in this case, the cop made a valid and correct ID and, under Tennessee v. Garner may use deadly force “if necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

      In Graham v. Connor, SCOTUS instructed lower courts to ask three questions to measure the lawfulness of a particular use of force. First, what was the severity of the crime that the officer believed the suspect to have committed or be committing? Second, did the suspect present an immediate threat to the safety of officers or the public? Third, was the suspect actively resisting arrest or attempting to escape?

      Under Garner and Graham, this shooting was legal.

      • The story blurb didnt make clear he got a positive ID, just said he saw a suspicious male that took off running.

        My issue wasn’t with shooting an extremely dangerous escapee, more that what if his suspicion was wrong and he shoots a guy who ran because he had a traffic warrant.
        If he had a full positive ID it makes more sense I guess, Just reading “Ah that might be him!” *unloads Glock*…seems like that could lead to some issues.

        • because a positive ID makes it fairly cut and dry. Cut and dry is bad for clickbaiting.

      • The law gives special privileges to government employees and empowers them to kill based on their feelings, then gives them a legal escape route (I felt threatened).

        As it so often is, the law is a system of government privilege.

        • I’m gonna guess you’ve never paid too much attention to the legal standard for a private citizen to use deadly force in your state. The details vary from state to state, but “feelings” (often described as “belief” or “reasonable belief”) are part of it pretty much everywhere.

          Do cops get a pass on some shootings that private citizens wouldn’t? Yes. But it’s not because cops get to act on “feelings” and private citizens don’t. In both cases “believes that such force is necessary” is typically part of the standard.

        • twency, it’s ‘reasonable belief’.
          And in many cases, the belief is considered ‘unreasonable’ by prosecutors when a peon shoots at an unarmed perp, but nearly everywhere it’s automatically ‘reasonable’ when a ‘trained professional’ makes the error. The end result is that without a law specifically preventing prosecution, the homeowner plays jury roulette after mortgaging his house to pay for attorneys, while the LEO gets six to eighteen months of bonus vacation time while the authorities wait for the public to forget before announcing the results of the ‘investigation’.

        • Fed Up, I acknowledged that cops receive disparate treatment. But as I explained, that’s not because the law says cops may rely on “feelings” and non-cops may not.

          Whatever the problems with our system, and there are many, they do not stem from the “law giv[ing] special privileges to government employees and empowers them to kill based on their feelings”.

      • Ralph has it.

        The suspect’s photo and physical description were broadcast far and wide in a BOLO (be on the lookout) broadcast.

        I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: be sure of your target. Unfortunately, that applies more to cops than taxpayers. Cops shoot the wrong person a whole lot more often.

        • They had all that info on Chris Dorner too. He was a large black ex-cop, they had tons of photos, and it was easy to make a positive ID.
          That’s why they had to shoot the two middle aged Hispanic ladies when they caught them delivering the LA Times, for both of them looked EXACTLY like Dorner.

        • The cop felt it was probably (possibly) the suspect and was correct (got lucky).
          If the cop ended up being wrong, we’d be less likely to see this in the news.

          This does not mean killing the wrong guy would not make news. It means it would be more likely to not make news, more likely to be less publicized and in fewer news sources, and would be less likely, therefore, to be posted here. Generally, the party and its supporters prefer to show their police in a positive light, when possible. There’s always some negative publicity that cannot be avoided, so it does make news.

      • Thanks Ralph for the background and explanation.

        It passes my common sense test too, as long as he was damn sure positive on the ID.

      • During and after the escape not a single person was harmed or threatened. The possible escapee was running away, and not positively identified. No possibility of harm to the officer.
        That sure does not coincide with the narrative you offer. Not a good shoot.

      • I thought the three questions were, “How many walkers have you have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why? 🙂

      • Those rulings sound morally wrong to me. He was unarmed and he ran. I guess the officer was super fat, knew he wouldn’t be able to catch him, assumed the escapee would hurt someone (even though he was unarmed), then used deadly force on him.

        Honestly, I really don’t believe anyone unarmed and running should be gunned in the back. Punishment does not fit the crime.

        • The problem is you’re thinking of it as “punishment”. It’s no more punishment than shooting an intruder in your home is punishment. It’s stopping a person who is presumably threatening death or great bodily harm (he was an escaped convicted murderer, you’ll recall) by use of deadly force.

        • Yea. It’s still not flying for me. How is a guy fleeing and unarmed a “presumed threat” anymore than anyone else? You have no proof whatsoever they will harm anyone. No proof of intent. Furthermore they can be subdued without any shot fired. All the cop had to do was get out of his car and follow the escapee. Radio back his location while other LEO converged. All he had to do was just follow him – didn’t even need to get close.

          Under the SCOTUS – Graham – The three questions are:

          **First, what was the severity of the crime that the officer believed the suspect to have committed or be committing? Murder – yes.

          **Second, did the suspect present an immediate threat to the safety of officers or the public?
          He was unarmed – he was running away from them… hmm. His intent to escape was clear. His intent to hurt anyone else – not clear.

          **Third, was the suspect actively resisting arrest or attempting to escape?
          Running – yes.

          Tennessee Vs Garner was a sham. An unarmed teenage kid was trying to climb a chain length fence. They shot him and he died. They shot him because they didn’t know if he was unarmed or not. Which is ridiculous. If you applied the same logic to other crimes then cops could shoot you at any time if you were trying to flee, because you could be armed, and you “might” hurt someone else.

    • Fleeing felon rule. Police have the authority to shoot those fleeing if they are deemed dangerous enough, which both these guys were.

    • I have to agree with those who question the use of deadly force against Sweat. Matt is a different story. Governor Cuomo was clearly avoiding the issue of the guy being shot in the back, when he said the heroic cop shot him twice in the thorax. That’s different than back. The bullets came through the thorax, but entered the back. Doesn’t seem heroic to me. And the lesson for any escapee is, no matter what, you’re going to shot and very likely killed if you don’t give up. So the message is, do whatever is necessary to escape because you’re very likely to die anyway. It’s funny, it’s against the Geneva convention to shoot to kill escaped prisoners of war.

  4. Other guy was shot three times in the head. Looks like an execution.

    No doubt the cops will make up some story like in Waco.

    • Good try lol, and there’s only one real Waco, and that involved the Branch Davidians, not this Waco biker BS

      • Hah. The first Waco massacre was pulled off by the FBI after the ATF took their shot. The local PD, wishing to emulate their federal Schutzstaffel heroes, committed their own massacre.

    • The other guy, Richard Matt, was armed with a shotgun and escaped from prison after being convicted of murdering and dismembering his employer. He got what was coming to him.

      • “armed with a shotgun” – according to the cops who killed him.

        Actually what was legally coming to him was imprisonment, not extrajudicial execution.

        • All I have to say to you is — are you nuts?

          He escaped from the prison he had coming to him. Maybe the cops should have offered him a reduced sentence if he turned himself in? Or maybe another go-round with that fat b1tch he was banging in the joint?

        • Hannibal says, “so explain why they didn’t kill the second one”.

          Bad shots, maybe?

    • Maybe they just should’ve let these guys go. I mean, they were honor students in the prison and already had about 10 years in. Obviously they deserved to be free so they could show up in your house one night.

      • Maybe they should have been looking in your backyard where they could have shot you for looking suspicious.

        • Were you there? Or do you believe everything the MSM says? Positive identification doesn’t go away just because someone turns around and runs. They don’t magically possibly become someone else.

        • Nowhere was “positive I.d.” implied or mentioned. Apparently your crystal ball has extreme powers.
          Don’t blame the media for your fantasy world.

    • It depends on the felony. I think that being an escaped murderer would give rise to “probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others,” as required by Tennessee v. Garner.

      If the felony was nonviolent, maybe not.

      • Interestingly the TN v. Garner decisions that generally invalidated the old “fleeing felon” rules specifically exempted fleeing prisoners… so one could assume that as long as the force is generally ‘reasonable’ to effect an arrest it would be okay.

    • Not just a felon, but one who had committed violent crimes. In CA that’s murder, attempted murder, ADW with a deadly weapon, rape, etc. That opens up “shooting in apprehension mode” so long as the following conditions have been met:

      -all clear down range
      -all other means of apprehension reasonably exhausted.

      Those laws tend to be pretty similar from state to state, but anyone here is welcome to correct me if I’m wrong.

      • “all other means of apprehension reasonably exhausted”

        Well it would be unreasonable to expect the pigsters to chase down an exhausted, unarmed man.

        • Walk a mile in their shoes Yee.

          There are some bad cops, bad every profession. Nowhere near all of them.

          I’m guessing you would be the first one to excoriate he cop if the POS got away and killed again.

          Glad you’re perfect.

        • Why don’t you come on up to Northern NY! Even at the foothills of the ADK people from flat states are just shocked at the terrain. You give me a marathon runner from the flat lands and this state will turn him into a quarter marathoner in no time 🙂 Love the ADK but its not always easy pushing through it.

        • might spill his coffee! Just kidding.

          I am wondering, though, why there are no riots about the police shooting an unarmed black man who was just running away. Oh wait, the dude was white..

  5. He was caught very close to the Quebec border and after being shot twice was coughing up blood. They got him to the trauma unit at the hospital in lovely Malone and now he’s going back to finish his life sentence, probably much of it, if not all, in solitary. Neither p.o.s. got very far from Dannemora as it turns out. 1,000 cops, dogs, choppers, drones, etc. to catch these guys and it still took three weeks; the territory involved is the northern Adirondacks; they would not have lasted that long in winter. We can see the prison lights from over here in Vermont across the lake every night, so with boat they could just as easily headed in this direction.

  6. “…Maybe they will actually be approved!” (NYS Pistol Permits) I got mine in six days. I carry every day. Carry laws here are not bad at all. Glad to see this SOB was caught, but I’m not so sure he should have been shot is he was unarmed, unless he was going to get away imminently.

  7. Let’s dissect and analyze this news paragraph for lies, unfounded assertions and conclusions without evidence:

    The shooting occurred (It just happened, it occurred, like, it was raining, not the cop shot someone, probably in the back) about 3:20 p.m. after Sgt. Jay Cook saw a suspicious man (suspicious as defined by who?) walking down a roadway in the Town of Constable, according to the state police. The sergeant ordered Mr. Sweat to stop, (or just shot him in the back, then claimed he ordered him to stop when he wrote his report) but he broke into a run (an unarmed man ran away and the cop shot him in the back) and the sergeant, a firearms instructor, opened fire, according to the authorities.

    What would be do without all these brave heroes? Thank God for the thin blue line. I’m ready to give up every constitutional right from the Magna Carta on if these backshooting bullies and cowards will just take care of me from cradle to grave and kill everyone they can without any semblance of judicial review. God bless America!

  8. My question on this whole thing, is why was the atf hunting for these guys? @atfhq posted “we caught them.”. I can see FBI, border control, and the marshalls but the aft confuses me. I guess anything to distract them from approving NFA items.

  9. Probably a good shoot, but…
    The old me never doubting the intent or integrity of the police: Yeah, the bastard got what he deserves.

    The new, skeptical me: Call in backup, root the guy out. If the felonious murderer is id’ed and armed then by all means shoot him. The risk of shooting an un-armed innocent person is greater to me than the risk of waiting for back up. Too many cases these days where cops are shooting first and asking questions later.

  10. Sooo……the police shot an unarmed, white man, in the back, as he ran away? Got it. I just have a few questions:

    When and where are the riots?
    What does one even wear to a riot?
    Can we reschedule the riots to next week?

    I’m pretty slammed this week at work, but I might be able to make it if we riot via WebEx. Otherwise just copy me on the minutes and I’ll provide my feedback. Either way, please email the riot agenda.

    • You are quite the comedian! Are you kidding me? This Sgt. is being called a hero! I have my very strong opinions about that. Yes, he captured the prisoner. And, there is no question that Cook had the authority to shoot to kill. It was also a known fact that the law enforcement EXPERTS said on Sunday “It’s CRUCIAL Sweat survive”. The Sgt. didn’t even try. Being a firearms instructor with known great aim, he could have just as easily placed a bullet in each leg which would have subdued Sweat in a matter of yards. Clearly, he aimed to kill, against recommendations by the experts. I think it was poor judgement. Not only that, he was shot in the torso. I have read NOTHING indicating he was shot in the back and I suspect it would shed a negative light on this. They do not want anything said that will remove Sgt. Jay Cook from his pedestal. Instead of acting like a robot, why not use your critical thinking skills and think about the implications of having 2 dead escapees? The CO’s clearly wanted them dead. The prison is now being investigated with a fine tooth comb and not only will heads roll, CO’s are going to lose their jobs. It’s a known fact that blues protect blues. The escape is ultimately the result of CO’s NOT doing their jobs. So, “gag the talkers and save your job” was probably the unspoken word among MOST OFFICERS. These are the guys that are paid by the tax payers. Now we’re paying them to smuggle heroin into the prisons to make their job easier, and get paid on the side. It’s been going on since the dawn of prisons but only now is it being publicly exposed. So many crackdowns expected in the near future and it’s about time! It is my opinion that cops in general are trigger happy. All they have to do is say they FELT threatened, AND THEY GET AWAY WITH MURDER. How many times did this happen? Fortunately, some recent events were captured on video; video that DOES NOT LIE, unlike blues protecting blues. In this case, you have an officer chasing a convicted killer through a field. Sweat make no attempt to reach for a weapon. He just kept running. Cook was unable to keep up. So, he shot to kill, with no apparent immediate threat of being shot. I want Sweat back behind bars as much as the next guy. But how do we keep trusting law enforcement when they are unable to think quickly and proceed after thinking things through?

  11. The bitching about shooting an excaped pisoner is beyond me. The 2 guys should have been on death row to start with. But 4 dead and 23 wounded in Chicago over the weekend gets no news.

    • From the story above we see that the cop shot a “suspicious looking” guy out walking that got scared and ran when the cop yelled at him. Luckily, it was the escapee.

  12. Anyone know the gun the cop used and/or the distance? I’ve been looking but cannot find. Thanks

  13. All that time… helpers… they couldn’t have gotten a car? To get the hell out of the immediate AO? They weren’t found missing for like 5 hrs, they could have been way outta new York by then.

    A lot of planning to just end up running around the nearby woods and towns.

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