Escaped Georgia inmates captured in Tennessee, officials say

Search for escaped inmates expanding as it enters third day

The inmates were being hunted in the killings Tuesday morning of two prison guards who were overpowered, disarmed and shot to death on a prison bus southeast of Atlanta.

A manhunt has been underway for Ricky Dubose and Donnie Russell Rowe, who are accused of killing two guards and stealing a pickup truck. The truck has Georgia tag, BCX 5372.

In a news conference Thursday in Madison, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills says that's the largest reward he's seen in 43 years of law enforcement.

Sills calls Rowe and Dubose "two serious, dangerous, vicious hoodlums".

The FBI rolled out "a significant media effort", including "a nationwide billboard campaign" to try to catch the fugitives, according to David LeValley, who runs the FBI office in Atlanta. One of them fatally shot both guards, and then they jumped out and carjacked a driver who pulled up behind the bus on a rural highway and fled in his auto, Sills said.

"We need the eyes and ears of everybody, really, in this country to be on the lookout for these two individuals", Sills said Thursday.

"They will be followed up on", said Sills.

"They are unsafe beyond description", Sills added. Department of Corrections Commissioner Greg Dozier wouldn't comment on that part of the investigation either.

Authorities urged the public to be vigilant, and warned against approaching them.

"They brutally shot those officers multiple times", Sills said.

The inmates have been cellmates a few times in Georgia's prisons, had known each other for "quite a while" and may have planned the escape together, Department of Corrections Assistant Commissioner Ricky Myrick said.

Authorities say the men overpowered two guards on a prison transport bus Tuesday and grabbed their guns.

Sills said the prisoners stole clothes from the home they burglarized but also ransacked the home to such an extent that it was impossible to determine what clothes might have taken or which ones they might now be wearing.

"If somebody is helping them and we identify who they are, they will be prosecuted as parties to this crime", Sills said.

Authorities warned that the men, who had escaped with the guards' 9 mm pistols, were considered very unsafe. The Department of Corrections said Rowe has been serving life without parole since 2002, and Dubose began a 20-year sentence in 2015.

"Both officers were known for their unwavering commitment to their job and their love of family", the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a statement.

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