Prison guards killed by inmates during transport in Georgia

Ricky Dubose and Donnie Russell Rowe Courtesy Georgia Department of Law Enforcement via AP

Ricky Dubose and Donnie Russell Rowe Courtesy Georgia Department of Law Enforcement via AP

Two Georgia inmates allegedly shot and killed two correctional officers, and now the two prisoners are on the run, ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta reported this morning.

A Georgia sheriff said officers were "desperately" searching Tuesday for two inmates who somehow got through a gate inside a prison bus, killed two guards and got away.

Thirty-one other inmates were on board the bus, which was heading to a diagnostic facility at the time the escape took place, and have provided assistance to investigators, officials said. "Words do not adequately express our sorrow in losing Sergeant Christopher Monica and Sergeant Curtis Billue in the line of duty".

Putnam County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teresa Slade says the getaway happened at about 7:23 a.m. Tuesday, southeast of Atlanta. Police advise anyone who sees them to call 911.

"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.

Both suspects are now armed with the officers' 9-mm guns, according to Sills. The Department of Corrections said Rowe, 43, has been serving life without parole since 2002, and Dubose, 24, began a 20-year sentence in 2015. They apparently overpowered the guards as they were being transported on a prison bus. Local law enforcement officers engaged in the effort include the Baldwin, Greene, Henry and Jasper Counties Sheriffs' Offices and the Eatonton Police Department.

Both men were being held at Baldwin State Prison in Milledgeville, just one county over from where they escaped in Putnam County.

Putnam County Sheriff's Office has not yet identified which inmate shot the prison guards.

"They are extremely risky", Deal said.

Witnesses say they saw the pair escape in another vehicle.

Rowe was convicted of aggravated assault, armed robbery and possession of a firearm.

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