Men hailed as heroes for holding murderous fugitives at gunpoint


Dubose and Rowe were the subjects of an intense manhunt after officials said they overpowered and killed two Georgia corrections officers on a prison transport bus. This photo provided by the Elbert County Sheriff's Office taken on October 13, 2015 shows inmate Ricky Dubose.

The two men were cellmates and friends in prison, and may have planned their escape; however, the bus ride Tuesday morning was unscheduled, officials said.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal applauded the "tireless efforts" of law enforcement but also turned his thoughts to the families of the two officers, saying their pain remains. CORRECTS SOURCE TO GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS IN SIGNOFF- This undated photo released by the Georgia Department of Corrections Tuesday, June 13, 2017, shows inmate Donnie Russell Rowe.

"At that point, I realized that I had two ex-cons wanted for murder that had just shot at law enforcement and nothing to lose", Hale said.

Deputies spotted the vehicle and chased it for 20 miles (32 kilometers) at high-speed, Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Bill Miller said.

The caller goes on to tell the dispatcher the men, Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose, were both armed with handguns and he was unsure what direction the men fled in.

The homeowner who helped capture two escapees from Georgia addressed the media Friday afternoon less than 24 hours after the terrifying incident played out in his driveway.

After a Rutherford County, Tennessee, Sheriff's Office unit spotted the couple's stolen auto on the road, authorities were called in and they pursued the suspects in a 10-minute chase with speeds reaching over 100 miles per hour, officials said.

Rowe and Dubose were captured after a homeowner saw them trying to steal his vehicle and held them at gunpoint. At left is Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Miller, and at right is Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh.

The inmates had run through the woods to a home on Pruitt Road, near the rural community of Christiana.

The prisoners allegedly breached a protective gate on the bus to reach the officers at the front of the bus, before disarming and killing them both, the sheriff's office said.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn said he's "totally grateful to everyone involved".

Both Rowe and Dubose were booked into the Rutherford County Jail and will be extradited to Georgia.

Authorities warned that the men, who had escaped with the guards' 9 mm pistols, were considered very unsafe. They ultimately left the truck in Tennessee and stole a white sedan, which they abandoned near the hostages' home, Swing said.

The duo carjacked a green Honda Civic and drove it for 25 miles to an elderly couples home, which they reportedly ransacked and held the couple hostage for an undisclosed amount of time before stealing their Ford pickup truck.

Hale took a picture of the escapees once they were surrounded by law enforcement officers.

The FBI announced a tip line and advertised a $130,000 reward on billboards.