The inmates are identified as Ricky Dubose, 24, and Donnie Russell Rowe, 43. 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 Ricky Dubose.
The sheriff's office said that a preliminary investigation indicated that as many as two correctional officers, working a detail in Putnam County, were killed around 5 a.m. along GA 16 while transporting prisoners during a work detail.
Sills described the fugitives as violent repeat offenders and extremely risky, having taken the guards' 9 mm pistols.
A Georgia corrections official said two escaped inmates accused of killing two prison guards have known each other for "quite a while" and it's possible they planned the escape together. "They're not concerned with anything regarding human life". They are believed to be traveling in a 2004 Honda Civic 4 door with GA license plate RBJ660 and grass green in color.
Inmates were being transported between Hancock State Prison and Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison when two escaped from custody by overpowering two Baldwin State Prison transfer sergeants driving a state prison transport bus with a total of 33 inmates. By the time help arrived, they had vanished.
Later on Tuesday, the manhunt shifted about 25 miles to the north to the city of Madison, where Mr Sills said the two men burgled a house and then two men fitting their descriptions were reportedly seen in a Family Dollar store less than a mile away.
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Sills says authorities aren't sure where they went after that, but he suspects they're no longer in the Madison area.
Authorities had no further signs of the inmates and had no reason to believe they had split up, Mr Sills said. The escapees could be headed anywhere, Sills said. He also has a tattoo featuring large letters covering the entirety of the front of his neck. Sills said Dubose also has "ghost" tattooed on his right forefinger and "face" on his right pinky finger - signs of membership in the Ghost Face Gangsters.
Rowe was serving a sentence of up to life in prison for armed robbery and aggravated assault in a 2001 case, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections website.
The slain Baldwin State Prison officers were Christopher Monica, 42, who was hired in 2009, and Curtis Billue, 58, who was hired in 2007, Georgia Corrections said.
"We need to find out what the circumstances really were, how did it happen, and what can you do to prevent it, and those are the lessons we will learn", Deal told reporters Wednesday.
"It's scary because the area was near where we live", a neighbor said. One of the pair shot and killed correctional guards Curtis Billue, 58, and Christopher Monica, 42. Monica had been with the department for eight years and Billue was a 10-year veteran. Both are being sought by law enforcement. Many law enforcement officers from local, state and federal agencies are hunting for them.