Gunman Shoots and Kills Bus Driver, Holds 6-Year-Old Hostage in Bunker
On Tuesday afternoon, a man in Dale County, Alabama, near Midland City, got on a school bus, demanded a child be let off with him, then shot and killed the bus driver when he refused. The shooter, identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, then took the boy from the bus and is currently holed up with him in an underground bunker nearby.
Police are in contact with Dykes via a PVC pipe into the bunker, which Dykes himself built on his property. The bunker is near Midway Assembly of God on Private Road 1539. Dykes has apparently told police that he will not harm the child.
Michael Creel, Dykes' neighbor, told reporters that Dykes is "not right in the head." He described the bunker as four feet wide by six feet wide and eight feet deep, and covered with about three feet of sand, making it practically unnoticeable.
"He's the type that thinks the government is out to get him," Creel added.
The 21 other students on the bus made it off safely. The bus driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, tried to prevent Dykes from snatching the boy, before he was shot multiple times.
Dykes was due to appear in court Wednesday to answer charges that he menaced his neighbors. James Edward Davis Jr., who also lives near Dykes, said that Dykes pulled a gun on him and his daughter on December 10, because Dykes thought Davis had driven onto his property.
We will update this story as events develop.