Saturday 19 August 2017

Inmates recaptured after escape in which two prison guards were killed

A photo provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows the arrest of the two Georgia fugitives Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose (AP)
A photo provided by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows the arrest of the two Georgia fugitives Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose (AP)

Two escaped inmates sought in the killings of two guards on a US prison bus were captured after they were held at gunpoint by a rural homeowner whose vehicle they were trying to steal, authorities said.

Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose were arrested in the rural community of Christiana, Tennessee, ending a multiple state manhunt that began early on Tuesday in Georgia.

"True bravery is what's caused us to stand before you tonight to talk about a successful capture instead of a tragic incident," Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director Mark Gwyn said.

"So I'm totally grateful to everyone involved."

Earlier in the day, police in nearby Shelbyville had responded to a call about a home invasion, where a couple had been held captive, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.

The suspects fled in the couple's vehicle and fired on sheriff's deputies chasing them on Interstate 24 about 50 miles southeast of Nashville, Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Lieutenant Bill Miller said.

Rutherford County Sheriff Michael Fitzhugh said his deputies did not return fire and none were injured.

Rowe and Dubose crashed the car and bailed out, running into the woods, Lt Miller said.

They then came across a home set back on a long driveway.

The trooper said the homeowner looked outside and saw the two allegedly trying to steal his car.

The man held the two at gunpoint with a neighbour he called for help until the sheriff's department could get there to arrest the fugitives.

The two are being held in the Rutherford County jail.

Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Greg Dozier said in a news release he was relieved the two inmates were captured and no longer a threat to the public.

"They will be brought to justice swiftly for their heinous crime against our officers," he said, also expressing gratitude to all of the law enforcement officers who provided support and assistance in the search for the two men.

Georgia Governor 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.

"We will do everything in our power to support their loved ones, and we will not forget their sacrifice and service," Mr Deal said.

The two men had been on the run since early Tuesday, when they are accused of having killed Sergeant Christopher Monica and Sergeant Curtis Billue.

The two inmates overpowered and disarmed the guards as 33 inmates were being driven between prisons, authorities have said.

One of them fatally shot both guards, and then they jumped out of the bus and carjacked a driver who happened to pull up behind them on a state Highway 16 in Putnam County, southeast of Atlanta, Georgia, authorities said.

Both escapees were serving sentences for armed robbery and other crimes.

The Department of Corrections said Rowe, 43, had been serving life without parole since 2002, and Dubose, 24, began a 20-year sentence in 2015.

AP

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