A 6-year-old boy is apparently still in the custody of a 65-year-old crazy man in Alabama, who “intercepted a school bus, killed the driver, snatched a 6-year-old boy and retreated into a bunker at his home” yesterday afternoon. Police and hostage negotiators have been in a stand-off with the man through the night and into today. According to CBS News, “The gunman, identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, was known as “the crazy man” of the neighborhood, a paranoid and combative man who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun.”
The Associated Press reports, “The standoff along a red dirt road began on Tuesday afternoon, after a gunman boarded a stopped school bus filled with children in the small town of Midland City, population 2,300. Sheriff Wally Olsen said the man shot the bus driver when he refused to hand over a 6-year-old child. The gunman then took the kindergartener away.”
The bus driver killed in the abduction was Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66. 21 students were on his bus, and when Poland tried to stop Dykes from walking down the aisle of the bus to steal two children, “Dykes fired four shots at Poland with a handgun,” the parents of two of the students on the bus said.
Police and other authorities have surrounded the bunker and are communicating with Dykes and the 6-year-old boy, who is reportedly safe and watching TV. We will update this story as it unfolds.