Sheriff: Georgia inmates overpowered, disarmed slain guards

This photo combo shows an undated photo by the Georgia Department of Corrections Tuesday, June 13, 2017, shows inmate Ricky Dubose, left, and Donnie Russell Rowe. Authorities say Dubose and Rowe escaped after killing two prison guards during a bus transport in Georgia. Both are being sought by law enforcement. (Georgia Department of Law Enforcement via AP)

EATONTON, Ga. (AP) — A manhunt is under way in Georgia for two inmates accused of killing two guards on a prison bus Tuesday morning.

Donnie Russell Rowe, 43, and Ricky Dubose, 24, overpowered and disarmed the two guards around 5:45 a.m. as about 30 inmates were being driven between prisons, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said in a news release. One of the two inmates then shot and killed both guards, Sills said.

Rowe and Dubose then carjacked a getaway car and fled, armed with the officers’ .40-caliber Glock pistols, Sills said. The Georgia Department of Corrections said in a tweet that people should call 911 and should not approach the men if they see them.

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The FBI said the fugitives were last seen getting into a “grass green,” four-door 2004 Honda Civic with the Georgia license plate number RBJ-6601, and driving west on state Highway 16 toward Eatonton, southeast of Atlanta.

The Georgia Department of Corrections identified the guards as Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue, both officers at Baldwin State Prison. Monica had been with the department since October 2009 and Billue since July 2007.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during testimony before a Senate budget panel in Washington Tuesday morning that federal resources are being committed to help catch the fugitives.

“An attack on any American law enforcement officer is an attack on every American law enforcement officer and the principles we all believe in,” he said.

Both men have been serving long sentences for armed robbery and other crimes, according to the Department of Corrections website. Rowe had been in prison since June 2002, and Dubose had been in prison since July 2015.

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