EATONTON, Ga. (AP) -- A manhunt is under way in Georgia for two inmates accused of killing two guards on a prison bus Tuesday morning.
Donnie Russell Rowe, 43, and Ricky Dubose, 24, overpowered and disarmed the two guards around 5:45 a.m. as about 30 inmates were being driven between prisons, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said in a news release. One of the two inmates then shot and killed both guards, Sills said.
Rowe and Dubose then carjacked a getaway car and fled, armed with the officers' .40-caliber Glock pistols, Sills said. The Georgia Department of Corrections said in a tweet that people should call 911 and should not approach the men if they see them.
The FBI said the fugitives were last seen getting into a "grass green," four-door 2004 Honda Civic with the Georgia license plate number RBJ-6601, and driving west on state Highway 16 toward Eatonton, southeast of Atlanta.
The Georgia Department of Corrections identified the guards as Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue, both officers at Baldwin State Prison. Monica had been with the department since October 2009 and Billue since July 2007.
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during testimony before a Senate budget panel in Washington Tuesday morning that federal resources are being committed to help catch the fugitives.
"An attack on any American law enforcement officer is an attack on every American law enforcement officer and the principles we all believe in," he said.
Both men have been serving long sentences for armed robbery and other crimes, according to the Department of Corrections website. Rowe had been in prison since June 2002, and Dubose had been in prison since July 2015.
Gov. Nathan Deal vowed to deploy every state resource necessary to help capture Rowe and Dubose in a statement he released Tuesday afternoon:
"Today, two families lost everything in a heinous and senseless act of violence perpetrated at the hands of cowards," Deal said . "Words do not adequately express our sorrow in losing Sergeant Christopher Monica and Sergeant Curtis Billue in the line of duty. The selflessness and courage of these two brave souls will not be forgotten, nor will their sacrifice and service. Sandra and I mourn alongside their families and communities, and we offer our deepest sympathies to their loved ones. Our heartbreak is matched only in our resolve to bring their murderers to justice. No effort will be spared in pursuit of the killers, and no state resources required in this endeavor will be spared.
"Led by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, multiple local, state and federal agencies are assisting in the investigation. State law enforcement agencies involved in the manhunt include the Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Joining them are our federal partners from the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Local law enforcement officers engaged in the effort include the Baldwin, Greene, Henry and Jasper Counties Sheriffs' Offices and the Eatonton Police Department.
"Finally, I urge all those in the surrounding areas to be vigilant and cautious while the killers remain at large. They are extremely dangerous. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts should immediately contact 9-1-1."