Danelo Cavalcante: Escaped killer now armed after stealing rifle from garage, US police say

A convicted murderer on the run after breaking out of prison was shot at by a homeowner who found him in his garage stealing a rifle, US authorities said.

Hundreds of state and local police along with federal agents are searching for 34-year-old Brazilian Danelo Cavalcante following his escape from Chester County Prison in Pennsylvania on 31 August.

Police say they are closing in on the “desperate” and “dangerous” fugitive, who has armed himself with the rifle with a scope and torch attached.

Overnight into Tuesday, Cavalcante grabbed the .22-caliber firearm before he fled as the property owner fired several shots at him with a pistol in Chester County.

Authorities have set up a six square mile (16 square kilometer) perimeter around the home in a wooded, hilly area where they believe Cavalcante still is.

The fugitive has disposed of a sweatshirt he was seen wearing on CCTV cameras and he is now believed to be shirtless, police say.

Residents of South Coventry have locked themselves in their houses and at least one school district has canceled lessons.

Pennsylvania State Police said they were pursuing him in the Philadelphia suburb, about 20 miles north of the Chester County Prison.

Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens said: “We consider him desperate. We consider him dangerous.”

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