A manhunt is underway in Georgia after two inmates killed two corrections officers before fleeing from a transport bus, authorities said.
Inmates Donnie Russell Rowe, 43, and Ricky Dubose, 24, were reportedly being transported with 31 other inmates to Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison on Tuesday morning when they made their escape. In a press conference, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said the prisoners managed to get out of the bus cage and into the driver’s compartment.
Rowe and Dubose then managed to overpower two Baldwin State Prison transfer sergeants, taking their guns and fatally shooting them, according to Sills.
“I saw two brutally murdered corrections officers,” Sills said at a press conference. “I have their blood on my shoes.”
The inmates then escaped in a carjacked 2004 green four-door Honda Civic with Georgia license plate RBJ6601, authorities said in a press release. Officials believe the men are armed and dangerous and say that no other inmates attempted to flee.
The victims were officers Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue, authorities said. Monica, 42, began working for the Department of Corrections in 2009 and was promoted to sergeant in 2012. Billue, 58, joined the department in 2007 and accepted a position as a transporter in 2013.
“Both officers were known for their unwavering commitment to their job and their love of family,” DOC Commissioner Gregory Dozier said in a statement.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) has vowed to apprehend the convicts.
“Today, two families lost everything in a heinous and senseless act of violence perpetrated at the hands of cowards,” Deal stated. “Words do not adequately express our sorrow in losing Sergeant Christopher Monica and Sergeant Curtis Billue in the line of duty. The selflessness and courage of these two brave souls will not be forgotten, nor will their sacrifice and service.”
Authorities describe Rowe as a 6-foot-1-inch white male with blue eyes and brown hair. He was sentenced to life without parole for an armed robbery charge. Dubose is also a 6-foot-1-inch white male with blue eyes and brown hair. He was serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery.
“Our heartbreak is matched only in our resolve to bring their murderers to justice,” Deal said in the statement. “No effort will be spared in pursuit of the killers, and no state resources required in this endeavor will be spared.”