The two Georgia inmates who were on the run after fatally shooting two prison guards have been captured in Tennessee following a police car chase Thursday, authorities said.
Donnie Rowe, 43, and Ricky Dubose, 24, were arrested in Christiana, Tenn., authorities said.
Police in Shelbyville received a call of an elderly couple being held captive by the fugitives during a home invasion.
The pair fled in the couple’s car, crashed and then led police on a foot chase before being taken into custody, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said agents were at the scene.
Authorities had raised the reward Thursday for information leading to the capture of the two escapees.
Multiple agencies were offering $130,000 for help in finding Rowe and Dubose, who killed correction officers Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue early Tuesday.
The U.S. Marshals, the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved in the manhunt.
“We are searching everywhere in America,” Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said, according to WSB.
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.
After killing the guards and fleeing the prison bus, Rowe and Dubose carjacked a driver who had pulled up behind the bus. They fled in the man’s Honda Civic down state Highway 16 in Putnam County.
The fugitives were later found to have ransacked a house and ditched their prison uniforms. They took food and likely clothes as well, and stole a pickup truck from a nearby industrial site sometime between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Authorities were pleading with the public to look out for the stolen 2008 white Ford F250 pickup truck with the Georgia tag BCX-5372.
“Nobody wants to go shopping. Nobody wants to go to the bank — to go anywhere because we don’t know where they are,” Madison resident Sue Bailey told WSB.
“We need the eyes and ears really of anybody in this country to be on the lookout,” Sills said Thursday. “It’s not just because of the crime, it’s because the public is in grave danger. These are dangerous, seriously dangerous, vicious hoodlums that need to be apprehended.”
The sheriff was asked Thursday whether the prison gang or its associates could be helping the killers.
“These people have relatives, these people have friends. There’s an infinite number of people that may well be helping them outside,” Sills said. “If somebody is helping them and we find out who they are, they will be prosecuted as participants in this crime, there’s no doubt about that.”
Dubose, 24, has prominent tattoos on his body, including crowns above his eyebrows, a star below his right ear and graffiti-style letters all across his neck. He also has “ghost” tattooed on his right forefinger and “face” on his right pinky finger, signs of membership in the Ghost Face Gangsters.
A law enforcement official in a different part of the state described Dubose as “a loose cannon.”
“He’s very dangerous and he has nothing to lose and I think he will go down in a blaze of glory,” Capt. Darren Scarborough of the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office told WSB.
Corrections officials have not said how the pair managed to get through the normally locked door of the inmate compartment.
“They were inside the caged area of the bus,” Sills said. “How they got through the locks and things up to that area I do not know.”
Sills said he’s watched the bus video on a cellphone, but couldn’t immediately tell which inmate fired the fatal shots.
Both Rowe, 43, and Dubose were convicted of armed robbery and other violent crimes, and have been cellmates more than once in Georgia’s prisons.
They “murdered two corrections officers in a brutal fashion,” Sills said. “They’re not concerned with anything regarding human life.”
“I think they don’t have much to fear because they’ve already killed two people, so they don’t have any problem killing somebody else,” Bailey told WSB. “I was afraid to go home.”
Monica, 42, and Billue, 58, were both transfer sergeants at Baldwin State Prison.
“The impact of these cowardly acts is far-reaching,” said Department of Corrections Commissioner Greg Dozier. “Sgt. Monica leaves behind a wife, two daughters, a community that loves him, people that respected and looked up to him … Sgt. Billue leaves behind two sisters, five brothers, a father and some children.
“These men were impactful to their communities, their families and this agency. We cannot replace them.”
With News Wire Services
With ELIZABETH ELIZALDE