One of two escaped maximum security prisoners shot, killed: New York Times

MALONE (New York) (REUTERS) - Richard Matt, one of two prisoners who escaped from a maximum security prison in New York three weeks ago, was shot and killed by police on Friday, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.

Matt was shot in the vicinity of Lake Titus, New York, near the Canadian border, the Daily Beast and CNN reported.

The second escapee, David Sweat, is still on the run, with police in close pursuit, CNN reported.

Dozens of law enforcement vehicles were converging on an area south of Malone, 43km north-west of the Clinton Correctional Facility, from which the pair staged an elaborate escape that was discovered on June 6.

The two convicted killers were believed to have been headed for Canada after searchers in the third week of the manhunt found items they had dropped, police said on Friday.

DNA testing on the undisclosed items was under way to see if it matched Sweat and Matt, said New York State Police Major Charles Guess.

The maximum-security prison in Dannemora, New York, is about 30km from Canada.

"They dropped some items and left others behind," Guess said at a news conference earlier Friday in Malone, New York, about 55km north-west of the prison and about 15km from the Canadian border.

He declined to identify the items or say where or when they were found.

During their escape, Matt, 49, and Sweat, 35, cut through their cell walls and sneaked along the catwalk to a steam pipe, slithered through the pipe and popped out of a manhole outside the prison walls.