Pennsylvania police said an escaped prisoner is now “armed and extremely dangerous” as authorities ramp up their ongoing manhunt for convicted murderer Danelo Souza Cavalcante.
During a news conference Tuesday, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Cavalcante stole a .22-caliber rifle and ammunition from a garage in the suburban Philadelphia area Monday night.
Bivens said the homeowner drew his pistol at Cavalcante after spotting him in his garage, firing his weapon several times at the escaped prisoner, who then fled from the area.
“The garage door was open. He didn’t, I believe, recognize that the owner was in there. And I think he was probably looking for a place to hide, ran for that garage, saw the firearm, grabbed that, encountered the homeowner and fled with the firearm,” Bivens said.
“Cavalcante is considered armed and extremely dangerous,” he added.
Bivens also said he has no reason to believe that Cavalcante was injured during the encounter.
The latest developments come a day after authorities raised the reward for tips leading to the capture of Cavalcante to $25,000. They also said they’re switching the approach in the manhunt, moving from a containment model to an investigative approach, which utilizes more resources and focuses on a larger area.
Authorities were forced to change their methods after Cavalcante managed to steal a van before ditching it in the East Nantmeal Township area, also appearing on a Ring camera with a clean shaved appearance about 25 miles away where he stole the van.
It’s been nearly two weeks since Cavalcante, 34, escaped from an eastern Pennsylvania prison. Cavalcante was convicted last month for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Cavalcante is also wanted in Brazil in connection to a separate killing.