Homeowner Who Captured Escaped Georgia Inmates: ‘I loaded up every weapon I could’

Patrick Hale, 35, spoke about the incident to reporters, clarifying that he did not have to draw his firearm to force the inmates to surrender.  (Photo: AP)

A Tennessee homeowner is being hailed as a hero after capturing two escaped Georgia inmates who authorities say killed two prison guards, tied up an elderly couple, and shot at police.

Patrick Hale, 35, told reporters last week that he had “loaded up every weapon” he could before engaging with the convicts, but contrary to what has been widely reported, never had to draw his firearm.

Hale was home alone with his young daughter when he received two phone calls from friends warning him that two escaped convicts from Georgia had been involved in a shootout with police on the highway near Hale’s house.

The two men, Donnie R. Rowe and Ricky Dubose, had escaped on Tuesday from a Georgia prison during a routine transfer. They overpowered and disarmed the two corrections officers responsible for the transfer and fatally shot them, authorities said.

Their escape sparked a nationwide manhunt, and only hours before their encounter with Hale they had tied up and threatened to kill an elderly couple. They stole the couple’s Jeep, but soon wrecked it following a 10-mile chase with police. After a brief gunfight with law enforcement, the convicts fled into the woods near Hale’s property.

After receiving warning calls from his neighbors, Hale told reporters he, “loaded up every weapon I could in my house to be prepared in the event that they needed to be used.”

Moments later, Hale saw two men crossing a barbed wire fence approximately 300 yards from his home. Hale said he called 911, “prayed like I have never prayed before,” and decided to flee with his daughter rather than hide in their panic room.

He ran out to his car, but the convicts had covered more ground than he expected. As they approached his car, they took of their shirts and began waving them as if to make Hale stop the car.

Hale continued to back his car out of his driveway, at which point the convicts inexplicably laid face down and surrendered.

“At that point, I realized I had two ex-cons wanted for murder, that just shot at law enforcement and nothing to lose, and for some reason, they started to surrender and laid down on their stomachs in my concrete driveway,” Hale said, adding, “If that doesn’t make you believe in Jesus Christ, I don’t know what will.”

“I had a weapon on me, but I never had to draw the weapon like it has been released in the news,” he said.

Hale told reporters that he believes Rowe and Dubose may have surrendered because his car looks like a police cruiser.

Forty-five law enforcement officers arrived three minutes after the men surrendered. During that time, Rowe and Dubose got up and took a drink of water from a nearby faucet.

Asked what was going through his mind when the men stood up, Hale responded that he had left his truck in front of his house with the keys and a loaded shotgun in the front seat. He was worried that the men would attempt to steal it. Instead, they walked back to the driveway and lay down on their stomachs.

Hale reiterated throughout the press conference that he does not feel like a hero. He said he just called 911 and explained to the dispatcher what was happening.

As for the $130,000 reward for the capture of Rowe and Dubose, Hale said he “has not really gone down that road yet.”

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

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  • Mark March 27, 2020, 9:49 am

    Just wondering, how can one be home alone with his daughter?
    Secondly, appears Mr. Hale got really lucky. Had he been attacked I’m not confident he would have prevailed.

  • Miles June 24, 2017, 4:51 am

    Im almost certain he drew his weapon .hes just not willing to spread that story and have to answer any undue questions not to mention he could possibly loose the gun for an unspecified amount of time if the whole incident where under investigation like im sure it is. Smart man only state what needs to be said and always keeping your just ass in the most positive light with the very least amount of possible negative outcomes.

  • DrThunder88 June 23, 2017, 12:00 pm

    I’m not going to argue whether or not there is a Jesus, but someone’s clearly playing favorites here.
    Prison guards: Killed.
    Elderly couple: Robbed.
    Tennessee man: Captured fugitives who may have mistaken him for a cop.

    • SkyPilot June 23, 2017, 11:50 pm

      Nope, God doesn’t play favorites:
      Hebrews 9:27 “…and as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment…”
      The officers had an appointment to die at that time; the elderly couple and Mr. Hale did not.
      Just thankful no one else was hurt/killed then. Pray for comforting for the families of those officers.
      May the Lord watch over and protect all our law enforcement, firefighters, military and medical personnel!

  • Retiredextremelydangerous June 23, 2017, 11:41 am

    This man, Patrick Hale, apparently has a death wish. He has two known killers laying spread eagle on his driveway. And seems to be proud of not having to draw or use one of his weapons! If you are not going to defend yourself or family, why have weapons? He even let them up from the driveway to get a drink of water and return to the driveway. What a nice guy! No forethought of danger for himself or his daughter. These two murders picked the nicest 6th Commandment followers driveway, in Tennessee! Lucky them!

  • R U Fuluvit June 23, 2017, 9:51 am

    Interesting that my previous comment required moderation. Meanwhile, the comments by Mark Maxon were deemed perfectly fine. .. thank you moderator.

  • R U Fuluvit June 23, 2017, 9:35 am

    Good for Mr Hale. He’s lucky his family wasn’t killed by the 45 police.

  • mike June 23, 2017, 9:25 am

    In massachusetts the police would have charged him with impoper storage of a weapon for having a loaded gun unsecured in his truck! I mean 45 cops would have had noting else to do

    • Andy Buckmichael June 23, 2017, 11:05 am

      This is the way cops kill a shift. Play follow the leader in their vehicles and then stand around doing nothing for as long as they can get away with it. Typical cop waste of taxpayer money which to me is also a crime.

  • Mark Maxon June 23, 2017, 9:22 am

    There is no Jesus, only fairy tales.

    • The Observer June 23, 2017, 10:27 am

      You are correct. It is nothing more than one big fraud that has been going on for 2017 years to fool the sheeple into compliance to the ruling class at the time. Total bull.

    • Hillbilly June 23, 2017, 10:46 am

      There is a Jesus and there is a hell which I pray you will realize before it to late for your soul

    • James L Blackburn June 23, 2017, 9:23 pm

      if you can’t help, shut up, or be shut up punk

  • Mark Maxon June 23, 2017, 9:20 am

    There is no Jesus, dumbasses. Just another coincidence. Inbred southerners going to tell each other fairy tales. I wish you lazy, stupid em-effers would secede ta-fuckin-morrow.

    • mark fischer June 23, 2017, 9:41 am

      GA, is it really necessary to allow this kind of language? As far as you Mark, Jesus is a verifiable historic figure. And since you live in a country where you have freedom of speech, you can say what you wish, which goes along with your “free will” that you were given by your Creator. But on judgement day, you can tell Jesus, He doesn’t exist before He pronounces judgement!!

      • Retiredextremelydangerous June 23, 2017, 11:30 am

        Mark, don’t try to change these peoples minds concerning the “Savior.” Let them find out for themselves, the hard way! Besides, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force him to drink!

    • Jesus ElSavior June 23, 2017, 10:19 am

      Troll, looking for attention. Don’t worry, Jesus loves you.

    • R U Fuluvit June 23, 2017, 11:02 am

      Thank you for your kind and insightful comment

    • Hiram A Biff June 23, 2017, 12:44 pm

      Jesus may love you but I think you are a douchebag; and I mean that in a good Southern Christian way , bless your heart

    • Keith June 23, 2017, 5:20 pm

      You’re the dumbest P.O.S. That ever drew breath.

    • CPT - 03 June 28, 2017, 10:25 pm

      So there’s no Jesus, right? Wrong! Tell you what Slick, since you are obviously smarter than all of us “southerners”..LMFAO ! How about you take a trip South and run that cock garage of yours to someone who faught for your unappreciated freedoms, while you spill that garbage from your pie hole! I have more guns than most.. However, no guns will be needed in stomping a mud hole in your ass and walking it dry..! You wouldn’t last 3 seconds, before my boot was so far up your ass you could taste the leather… So get off your moms couch and come on down south …Moma’s boy!!
      —> Alabama The Beautiful Welcomes You .. For a First Class Southern Ass Stomping .|.
      -Captain X, US Army, Ret.

      • Stuart March 27, 2020, 4:43 pm

        How godly of you! Definitely, NOT what Jesus would’ve done.

  • Jackmcbride June 23, 2017, 9:05 am

    If the criminals would have got control of him somehow unfortunately and raped his wife and young daughter. He would have hade his guns out and protect his family. Even if would have had to shoot the criminals. Thank god the family is safe.

  • Tom June 23, 2017, 8:52 am

    “Captured” may be a little strong. My understanding from watching the interview on TV is that they more or less just surrendered without any effort on his part.

  • Phil Gram June 23, 2017, 8:39 am

    It is obvious watching the youtube video that Mr. Hale would be a real asset to the GSP. Contact the GSP if you agree.

  • Andy Buckmichael June 23, 2017, 7:49 am

    45 cops showed up — what a joke.

  • Skip June 23, 2017, 7:42 am

    It’s great to see the hale Mr. Hale hailed.

  • Dr Motown June 23, 2017, 7:23 am

    He’s lucky the criminals didn’t grab that shotgun or make a move on him or his daughter. Appreciate his humility and honesty, glad to see his family is safe, but he should’ve handled it differently. That young daughter should’ve been protected in the safe room or he should’ve been better prepared to use the weapon

    • chris June 23, 2017, 2:55 pm

      That’s what is called “Faith,” something too many people have no clue as to what it is.

  • MOS8541 June 20, 2017, 12:47 am

    I saw the interview and thought he was a,great representative traditional family man. Not a freak or weirdo or some alternative hey look at me jerk we see on,the fake reality shows all the time.

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