Gunman kills driver of bus, snatches boy
MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — A gunman holed up in a bunker with a 6-year-old hostage kept law officers at bay on Wednesday in an all-night, all-day standoff that began when he killed a school bus driver and dragged the boy away, authorities said.
SWAT teams took up positions around the gunman's rural property, and police negotiators tried to win the kindergartener's safe release.
The gunman, identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, was known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure 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.
He had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to answer charges he shot at his neighbors in a dispute last month over a speed bump.
The standoff along a red dirt road began on Tuesday afternoon, after a gunman boarded a stopped school bus filled with children in the 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 boy away.
“As far as we know, there is no relation at all. He just wanted a child for a hostage situation,” said Michael Senn, a pastor who helped comfort the traumatized children after the attack.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Police search for armed prisoner after hospital escape
- Indiana officials try to quell backlash over religious freedom law
- A revolt is growing as more people refuse to pay back student loans
- Federal agents charged with plundering online drug bazaar Silk Road
- Supreme Court allows Obamacare’s Medicare costs board to stand
- Cause unknown for attack on NSA gates by 2 men dressed as women
- U.S. parks cope with aging visitor base
- Florida church bus crash kills 8
- Girl, 10, killed in Youngstown blaze was linked to rape case
- 2nd suicide in a month jolts Missouri GOP
- Music festivals say ‘no’ to fans’ selfie sticks