It's a sad day in central Georgia as the Milledgeville community continues to mourn the loss of the two correctional officers that were killed Tuesday morning while transporting a bus of inmates.

Our Jobie Peeples spoke to a former co-worker of officers Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue, who says these officers' deaths are felt by more than just the families.

"These two officers... this didn't have to happen," their friend Dia Fennell said.

Fennell worked with the two officers at Baldwin State Prison.

"I was in shock because I was wondering who it was," Fennell said. "This is bad to say, but I was praying that it would be someone I didn't know because I've never in my life experienced anything like this while working with the department."

Fennell says Monica was always smiling. She says in stressful situations he always offered up comforting hugs.

"Everybody needed support there, it's a stressful job," Fennell said. "And he always managed to make you feel comfortable and that everything was going to be alright."

Fennell says Billue had a bubbly personality and was always a gentleman.

"I was a counselor at Baldwin State Prison so I had to make rounds there and whenever Billue was down there working, he made it a point that he was going to escort me," Fennell said.

Fennell says these officers' deaths are felt by more than just their families.

"Not just the family of these great officers are suffering, it's family, it's friends, it's co-workers," Fennell said. "And not to mention it's inmates at Baldwin State Prison I'm sure that they have shed a few tears over this as well."

She says she hopes law enforcement finds the inmates before they hurt anyone else.

The bodies of the officers have been taken to funeral homes in Milledgeville, where both officers lived.

Officer Monica's arrangements are being handled by Williams Funeral Home and Slater's Funeral Home is handling Billue's arrangements.