EAST NANTMEAL, Pa. - The frantic manhunt for escaped killer Danelo Cavalcante extends into its 14th day with authorities confirming the fugitive who has been on the run for nearly two weeks stole a rifle and escaped gunfire from an armed homeowner Monday night.
Cavalcante, 34, escaped Chester County Prison on Aug. 31 by acrobatically scaling a prison wall, climbing through razor wire and jumping from the roof to freedom. His escape triggered a massive manhunt in lush terrain of Longwood Gardens that continued 20 miles north when police say he slipped through their original perimeter in a stolen van.
A massive police presence swarmed the area of Fairview Road in East Nantmeal Township on Monday night when a driver reported seeing Cavalcante crouched near a wood line. Later in the night, police say Cavalcante entered a garage and grabbed a .22 caliber rifle before encountering a homeowner who fired "several shots."
Pennsylvania State Police also reported they recovered Cavalcante's prison-issued shoes and light-green colored hoodie that he was seen wearing on recent doorbell surveillance video. They believe Cavalcante swiped a pair of work boots from the porch of a local home.
Residents within the search areas received a reverse 911 call from Pennsylvania State Police that advised residents to shelter-in-place and lock themselves indoors.
By nightfall Tuesday, authorities shifted their focus to an area of South Coventry Township where they established a new perimeter that encompasses areas within Routes 23 and 100, Fairview and Nantmeal Roads, and Iron Bridge and County Park Roads. They advised residents to lock buildings, properties and vehicles.
Cavalcante was recently served a life sentence in the 2021 stabbing death of his girlfriend, whom he killed in front of her children. He was also wanted by authorities in Brazil for the shooting death of a man over a debt the victim owed him for repairing a vehicle.
DANELO CAVALCANTE MANHUNT:
- Danelo Cavalcante: Search for escaped killer reaches day 12, reward grows to $25K
- Danelo Cavalcante: Escaped killer spotted near Phoenixville; stolen van found abandoned
- Danelo Cavalcante: Chester County shops, restaurants see business down as manhunt continues
- Danelo Cavalcante: Prison guard on-duty when killer escaped Chester County prison fired
The manhunt has rocked the sense of safety in otherwise quiet Pennsylvania communities. One resident told FOX 29 on Tuesday that they've endured sleepless nights listening to police scanners and local news coverage.
"I want him caught," said a homeowner who did not wish to be identified. "We don't want any of our police force being injured, it's scary for everyone."
Authorities have issued a joint $25,000 reward for information leading to the recapture of Danelo Cavalcante. State police issued a stern warning this week cautioning that anyone aiding or harboring Cavalcante will be prosecuted.