• Meet The Deadeye Marksmanship Instructor Who Put Two Bullets Into A Prison Escapee

    Hundreds of officers searching hundreds of miles for weeks to find two escaped murderers all came down to a one on one between the remaining prisoner David Sweat and one officer: New York State Police Sgt. Jay Cook.

    Cook, 47, is a marksman instructor, and that came in handy when he came across Sweat, both alone around 3:20 p.m. Sunday on a road Cook was patrolling. Cook got out of his car and said “Hey, come over here.” Sweat ignored and Cook called out again before realizing it was the escaped prisoner.

    Sweat turned back to look at the officer and then took off running across a field to a tree line where he could disappear. Cook chased him on foot but realized he had only moments to raise his weapon and fire before Sweat escaped.

    So he pulled the trigger.

    Cook fired twice and hit Sweat in the torso twice, bringing him down less than two miles from the Canadian border and ending the 23-day search that spanned multiple states and countries.

    Cook, a 21-year veteran and married father of two girls, ages 16 and 17, has largely avoided media, not seeking out attention for himself. He grew up near where the shots were fired, and his mother said he has deflected the praise.

    “He was just doing his job,” his mother Judy Cook told the Wall Street Journal. “He was in the right place at the right time.”

    Cook’s mother said he grew up in Franklin County and worked on the family dairy farm. He served in the U.S. Airforce before getting his criminal justice degree, working as a corrections officer, and then switching over to the police force, she told WSJ.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised Cook, calling his decision a “very courageous act.”

    “I said to Sgt. Cook … go home tonight and tell your daughters that you’re a hero,” Cuomo told reporters at a press conference. “With teenage girls, that will probably last a good 24 hours and then you go back to being a regular dad, as I well know.”

    The family of the cop Sweat had killed shared their gratitude for Cook’s marksmanship.

    “We would like to extend a special thank you to Sgt. Jay Cook for being vigilant when he saw something that didn’t look right and going with his instincts,” the family said in a statement.

    “His name is out there now because of what he did, but he shouldn’t be commended just for this one incident,” Glenn MacNeill, acting Franklin County district attorney told the WSJ. “He’s been a good police officer his entire career.”

    Cook (right) Troop D - New York State Police, FacebookCook (right) Troop D – New York State Police, Facebook

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