A nationwide search is underway for two Georgia inmates who somehow escaped a locked gate inside a prison bus with 31 other inmates inside, overpowered and killed two guards with their own handguns and managed to get away.
“I saw two brutally murdered correctional officers — that’s what I saw. I have their blood on my shoes,” said Putnam County Sheriff Howard R. Sills.
One of the suspected killers, Donnie Russel Rowe, is originally from Lewisburg, TN.
Rowe has committed many crimes right here in Tennessee, in addition to the two murders he and the other missing prisoner, Ricky Dubose, are now suspected of committing.
The murders happened at a facility in Putnam County, about 75 miles from Atlanta.
Authorities in Lewisburg and around Tennessee are well aware of what happened in Georgia. While they won’t give any specifics about their efforts in order to maintain the integrity of their investigation, it’s clear authorities across the nation are searching for the two inmates.
Rowe and Dubose were able to flee after carjacking someone nearby.
“Apparently the first car, the car drove up behind the bus,” Sills said. “The victims suspected it was some sort of work detail that were stopping. All of the sudden, two prisoners come out, armed with handguns, and order him our of his car.”
The carjacking victim is said to be OK.
It’s not clear where Rowe and Dubose are heading, but authorities in Tennessee are on the lookout since Rowe is from Lewisburg.
“I talked with the Marshal Service Director David Harlow this morning, and we have committed all federal resources to help catch those fugitives and hold the perpetrators accountable,” Sills said.
Local sheriff’s agencies have always told us the most dangerous part of their job is transporting inmates.
“It’s a very complicated, complex, dangerous situation,” says Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall. “It’s the most dangerous thing we do, going to and from courts and hospitals.”
While there are many unanswered questions as to how the two were able to get out of their restraints and a locked gate, the focus now is finding them.
Rowe, who goes by the nickname Whiskey, is a white man with blue eyes and brown hair. He is 6’1″ and weighs 181 pounds. The 43-year-old has previous convictions for aggravated assault, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during a crime. He was serving a life sentence in Bibb County, GA.
Dubose is a white man with blue eyes and brown hair. The 24-year-old is 6’1″ and weighs 140 pounds. Some of Dubose’s convictions included aggravated assault, armed robbery, burglary and robbery.
The pair may still be in the car that they hijacked, which is a light green 2004 Honda Civic with GA tag RBJ6601. They were last seen driving on State Route 16 toward Eatonton, GA.