According to authorities, a homeowner who observed fugitive felon Danelo Cavalcante in the garage obtaining a handgun opened fire on him on Monday night.
At a press conference on Tuesday, George Bivins of the Pennsylvania State Police said that a homeowner contacted police at 10:10 p.m. ET to report that a small Hispanic male wearing no shirt and black trousers had entered the garage while the homeowner was inside and taken a.22 rifle leaning in the corner.
The homeowner fired several bullets at the guy, subsequently identified as Cavalcante by police, as he “fled with the rifle.”
Police arrived at the Coventryville Road house minutes later, but Cavalcante had already departed. Bivins expressed confidence that Cavalcante, 34, who had been missing since August 31, was safe.
After finding what seemed to be the inmate’s green sweatshirt and white T-shirt on the edge of the driveway, the search area was expanded to include that location.
Among other “significant developments,” Bivins mentioned the encounter with the homeowner looking for Cavalcante.
A vehicle on Fairview Road west near Route 100 reported sighting a guy crouched in the bushes about 8 p.m. that night. The driver drove back around to make sure she had spotted the man, but he was already out of sight.
Border Patrol had a tactical team nearby, and many more soldiers responded immediately.
There, investigators found footprints and mud “identical to the prison shoes worn by Cavalcante,” according to Bivins. Soon later, the police discovered his prison boots.
A neighbor also stated that a pair of work boots were removed from the house’s porch before to the gunshot call.
Cavalcante is armed and very deadly, so use extreme care. “He’s armed with a.22-caliber rifle outfitted with a scope and a spotlight,” Bivins said.
Several law enforcement agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, the FBI, and the United States Marshals, conducted nighttime searches utilizing aircraft, canines, and mounted patrols. Authorities reported on Tuesday that more than 500 officers had guarded the perimeter.
The current perimeter is eight to ten square miles in size and is defined by Pennsylvania State Route 23 to the north, Pennsylvania State Route 100 to the east, Fairview to the south, and County Park Road to the west.
“We ask residents in and around this facility to secure homes, outbuildings, and vehicles,” Bivins said, adding that neighbors in the area were warned to take the precautionary action through reverse 911 calls.
South Coventry Township is in Chester County, close northwest of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania State Police have previously said that Cavalcante is being pursued in this region.
The public was warned to avoid contact with him, to stay indoors, and to lock all doors and windows.
A camouflaged Cavalcante was seen in adjacent Phoenixville on Sunday.
Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release last month after being found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend.
According to the police, he has attempted to garner support among former employees.
“I believe he is beyond assistance at this point, and we will actively hunt until we find him,” Bivins said on Tuesday.
On August 31, surveillance film from Chester County Prison in Pocopson Township shows Cavalcante, an escaped convict, reaching over a wall in the exercise yard before scaling to the prison’s roof.
Police said Monday that the “long game” in their hunt for Cavalcante, who they suspect abandoned a stolen car in the area, had started.
According to investigators, he initially sought refuge in the woods before moving to a more populated area.
“While he was playing that tactical hide-and-seek in the woods, I believe it’s now advantageous law enforcement because he’s in an urban setting,” Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Clark said on Monday. These are the kind of situations that our investigators specialize in.