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'Most-wanted' fugitive captured

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CARROLL, New York (CNN) -- Fugitive Ralph "Buck" Phillips, wanted for allegedly shooting three New York state troopers, one fatally, after escaping from prison in April, was captured Friday evening after a daylong hunt, the New York state police said.

"At 8 o'clock tonight, (Buck) Phillips, as I told you before, could run but he could not hide," New York State Police Superintendent Wayne Bennett said at a news conference where he was flanked by dozens of officers from numerous law enforcement agencies.

"You're not going to shoot one of our people and get away with it," Bennett said. (Watch how the five-month manhunt came to an end -- 3:13)

No gunfire was exchanged during the arrest in Akeley, a town in northwestern Pennsylvania near the New York border, the police said. Akeley is 10 miles southeast of Jamestown, New York.

A Warren County, Pennsylvania, sheriff's deputy spotted Phillips in a lightly wooded area and asked him to come out and Pennsylvania state police arrested him, Bennett said.

Phillips threw up his hands and surrendered. He was not armed or injured at the time of his arrest, Bennett said.

Phillips was tired, unkempt and "the look on his face was a blank stare," Bennett said.

U.S. marshals were transporting Phillips to Buffalo, New York, where he will be processed for unlawful flight at the nearby Erie County Correctional Facility, Bennett said. Erie County is the prison from which Phillips escaped in April. (Watch how 'Buck' became a folk hero after escaping with a can-opener -- 2:09)

Phillips is scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate Saturday on the federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, Bennett said. Typically, the federal charges are set aside after a fugitive is captured so the fugitive can be handed over to local or state police.

Sightings spark chase

Two reported sightings of Phillips prompted police to cordon off a square mile of Pennsylvania woodland earlier Friday.

"I can tell you there is a rather significant full-court press going on," Bennett said during the search.

Phillips was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list Thursday. He was being sought in connection with the June 10 shooting of Trooper Sean Brown during a traffic stop near Elmira, New York, and the August 31 shootings of two troopers in Chautauqua County.

Trooper Joseph Longobardo, 32, died and Trooper Donald Baker, 38, remained hospitalized Friday in critical condition, Bennett said, adding that Baker seemed to be recovering.

The Pennsylvania sightings came about 3 p.m. Friday, Bennett said. He told his officers to use deadly force if necessary, he said.

"If necessary, we were prepared to kill him," Bennett said.

Dozens of police, SWAT teams and federal officers converged near Allegany State Park at the New York-Pennsylvania state line.

A perimeter of blockades was set up, and the area was swept with search dogs, helicopters and officers on foot in an effort to flush Phillips from the woods. Local police were deputized by the U.S. Marshals Service so they could cross back and forth over state lines.

Stolen cars provide lead

The search for Phillips began just before 2 a.m. Friday after a Warren County, Pennsylvania, sheriff's deputy pursued a car believed to be stolen, said Bennett. The car crashed into a tree, and the man inside fled, Bennett said.

About 25 minutes later, there was a report of another stolen car. As two troopers chased that vehicle, the car crossed into New York, where the driver jumped from the moving vehicle and fled into a wooded area.

A backpack containing camouflage clothing was found inside the first car. A hat found in the pack appears to match the one Phillips was wearing in a wanted poster photograph, two federal law enforcement sources said.

About 9 a.m., a trooper with a dog met up with a man in the woods he believed to be Phillips, Bennett said.

The man allegedly waved a pistol toward the trooper, who fired several shots, Bennett said. The trooper was uninjured, and there was no trail of blood indicating the fleeing man had been hit, he said. (Watch for scenes from Friday's pursuit when shots were fired -- 3:45)

Police asked residents in the area to stay in their homes and evacuated the Cable Hollow Golf Course in Warren County, in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, said Heather Bortz, daughter of the golf course owner. At least two schools in northern Pennsylvania also were placed on lockdown.

Eileen Anderson lives near the golf course where Friday's search began.

"I was just down on my porch and the helicopters were flying around here. All of a sudden I heard four shots right across up over the hill, right in front of my house -- four right in a row. The helicopter has been flying over that spot ever since."

Asked what Phillips' biggest mistake was during his time on the lam, Bennett responded, "He stayed here. His comfort zone became his destruction point. He got cocky."

The 44-year-old Native American escaped from the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, after prying open a roof vent in the jail's kitchen area with a can opener. He was serving time on a parole violation.

CNN's Deb Feyerick and Zak Sos contributed to this report.


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