Homeowner opens fire on Danelo Cavalcante after he stole rifle from Pennsylvania home

Cavalcante, 34, escaped from Chester County Prison on 31 August, days after he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend

Martha McHardy
Tuesday 12 September 2023 14:34 BST
CCTV shows Danelo Cavalcante’s prison escape

A homeowner reportedly opened fire on escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante after he broke into his home and stole a .22 caliber rifle.

A man fired seven times at Cavalcante after the convicted prisoner broke into his home in East Nantmeal on Monday night, FOX 29 reported.

Police confirmed the shooting at a press conference on Tuesday morning, saying Cavalcante is “armed and dangerous” and a search of the area near the home was fruitless.

Cavalcante, 34, escaped from Chester County Prison on 31 August, days after he was sentenced to life without parole for stabbing his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao, 33, to death. He is also wanted for a 2017 murder in Brazil.

A manhunt was launched by police to find the convicted murderer, who police have described as extremely dangerous.

Danelo Cavalcante
Danelo Cavalcante

Pennsylvania State Police said its search is now centred on South Coventry Township in Chester County, warning locals that the fugitive is armed and that they should “lock all doors and windows” as a precaution.

It comes after police responded to reports of gunshots in Coventryville Road in East Nantmeal Township on Monday night.

Philadelphia ABC station WPVI reported a homeowner shot at someone matching Cavalcante’s description.

Officers reportedly recovered the green hoodie and shoes the prisoner was pictured wearing over the weekend.

Since his escape from prison, there have been almost a dozen sightings of Cavalcante but he has continued to elude a massive manhunt, police said.

Police said they believe Cavlcante has changed his appearance since his escape, shaving his beard off to evade police.

Cavalcante was spotted near Phoenixville in northern Chester County overnight on Saturday wearing a yellow or green hooded sweatshirt, black baseball cap, green prison pants, and white shoes.

Map showing where Cavlcante has been spotted
Map showing where Cavlcante has been spotted (Chester County DA/Google Maps/Indy composite)

He was driving a white 2020 Ford Transit van with a refrigeration unit on top, bearing a Pennsylvania registration plate ZST8818, police said in a statement.

Authorities subsequently recovered the van after it was left abandoned and with the keys inside in East Nantmeal.

Cavalcante was also spotted twice near Chester County Prison on 8 September, according to police. He was spotted again late on 9 September.

Footage released by prison authorities of the convicted murderer’s dramatic escape from prison showed Cavlcante crab-walking up a wall in the prison yard, pushing through razor wire and making a dash across a roof.

On Monday, Pennsylvania authorities said they had expanded the search perimeter by 10 miles to Phoenixville in their manhunt for Cavlcante after he stole a transit van and drove to the homes of former associates.

A corrections officer who failed to report his escape was fired.

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