Georgia's two escaped inmates were captured Thursday with help from a gun-toting Tennessee homeowner. But first, Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose broke into an elderly couple's home, tied up the occupants, held guns to their heads, threatened to kill them, and ate their beef stew, Bedford County Sheriff Austin Swing tells NBC News. After three hours of terror at the Shelbyville home, the inmates finally left in the couple's Jeep Cherokee, Swing tells the Tennessean. At that point, the "traumatized" couple were able to free their bonds of rope and belts and call police. Soon after, the inmates led an hours-long car chase down Interstate 24 near Murfreesboro, with speeds reaching 100mph, per WSB-TV. Authorities say they fired 20 shots at police.
The shots hit police vehicles but caused no injuries. After several hours, the inmates wrecked their car when they crashed into a tree line. However, they failed to surrender, instead running six miles to a home, where they attempted to steal another vehicle. That's when the homeowner intervened. Hearing a commotion outside the home in Christiana, he held DuBose and Rowe at gunpoint until authorities arrived, per the AP. (A neighbor apparently came over and helped.) The inmates had left their weapons at the crash site. "It's an ideal situation in the end," says Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, though he adds the deaths of two corrections officers weighs heavy. It's unclear who will receive a $130,000 reward offered for information leading to the capture.