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Jimmy Lee Dykes Hostage Situation LIVE: Military Veteran Holds Child Hostage In Bunker After Shooting School Bus Driver

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Jimmy Lee Dykes Killed In Raid, Freed Hostage In 'Good Spirits'

The 5-year-old boy rescued from a 6-day hostage standoff with a paranoid survivalist who assaulted a school bus is in good spirits and physically unharmed after the ordeal, according to authorities.
 
Hostage-taker Jimmy Lee Dykes was killed in the raid, which an FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) conducted Monday afternoon using some type of flashbang explosive. The hostage has been identified only as Ethan.
 
"I've been to the hospital," FBI Special Agent Steve Richardson told the press Monday night. "I visited with Ethan. He is doing fine. He's laughing, joking, playing, eating, the things that you would expect a normal 5- to 6-year-old young man to do. He's very brave, he's very lucky, and the success story is that he's out safe and doing great."
 
Authorities managed to insert a camera into the bunker to monitor Dykes' movements. They additionally constructed a mock bunker near the site to run simulations of different scenarios that might arise during a possible rescue.
 
"Within the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated and Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun," Richardson said. "At this point, the FBI agents, fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child."
 
President Obama called FBI Director Robert Mueller to congratulate him on a job well done.
 
"The president praised the exceptional coordination between state, local, and federal partners, and thanked all the law enforcement officials involved during the nearly week-long ordeal for their roles in the successful rescue of the child," read a statement from the White House.
 
State Sen. Harri Anne Smith said the child's parents asked authorities not to harm Dykes.
 
"She put her hand on the officer's heart and said, 'Sir, don't hurt him. He's sick,'" Smith told reporters.

Hostage Situation in Alabama Ends With Child Safe, Kidnapper Dead

Kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes is dead and the five year-old boy he kidnapped and held in a bunker for seven days is safe. 

On Monday, FBI agents entered Dykes' bunker using some type of flash explosive. The subsequent raid ended when agents pulled the child from the bunker and Dykes died. It is not yet clear how the armed kidnapper was killed.

Last week, Dykes, 65, boarded a school bus with a gun and demanded he take two children. When bus driver Charles Poland tried to stop Dykes, he was shot. Dykes then took a five year-old autistic child identified only as Ethan to his home nearby, and entered a makeshift bunker. Dykes was a Vietnam veteran who allegedly suffered from mental illness. His neighbors had described him as a survivalist — a person who prepares for social disorder by stocking up on staples and perhaps firearms. 

Jimmy Lee Dykes Hostage Crisis Enters Sixth Day

He had a whole bus load full of kids, and he could have walked up there and shot the whole crowd of them. I think he's just a really angry and bitter guy with some anger management issues.

- Morris Dees, SPLC
As the hostage crisis enters its 6th day, more details have been released about Jimmy Lee Dykes, the 65-year-old man who assaulted a school bus in Midland, Alabama, killed the driver and kidnapped a 6-year-old student.
 
Authorities say that they have maintained an open line of dialogue with Dykes, who has made it a priority to keep the child as comfortable as possible. Dykes has allowed the child to recieve comfort items like food, toys, and medicine, as well as to watch TV.
 
Here is the latest additional information we have about Dykes:
 
- He grew up in the Dothan area, and lives off a dirt road on the U.S. Highway leading to Montgomery, Alabama, roughly 80 miles away.
- Midland City Council member Mel Adams says that he has known Dykes since the age of 3, but that he had fallen out with his family over an unknown dispute in which Dykes "had told part of his family to go to hell."
- Dykes' sister is in a nursing home. Other members of his family have been instructed by laywers not to discuss the case with the press.
- Dykes served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1969 during Vietnam, earing the Vietnam Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. Neighbors described him as exhibiting symptoms related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but it is unknown if there is any relation to the incident and his military service.
- He was arrested two times: once in Florida in 1995 for improper exhibition of a weapon, and once in 2000 for marijuana possession.
- Dykes is a survivalist who bought a white trailer from FEMA after Hurricane Katrina and stocked it with emergency supplies. He stripped all of the trees from his property and surrounded it with a wire fence.
- He beat a neighbors' dog to death with a lead pipe and repeatedly threatened others for violating what he considered his property rights.
- He exhibited odd behavior, such as hunting small game and birds late in the morning and constructing the bunker where the child is held late at night out of plywood and other materials.
- Odd political beliefs are an understatement; Dykes was an anti-government extremist with paranoid tendencies and who believed in conspiracy theories.
 
Neighbor Michael Creel said Dykes was a loner who listened to political talk radio.
 
"He was very into what's going on with the nation and the politics and all the laws being made. The things he didn't agree with, he would ventilate," Creel said.
 
James Arrington, police chief of neighboring town Pinckard, said that "[Dykes is] against the government, starting with Obama on down."
 
Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, said that Dykes had "probably not" intended to conduct a copycat massacre.
 
"He had a whole bus load full of kids, and he could have walked up there and shot the whole crowd of them," he said.
 
"I think he's just a really angry and bitter guy with some anger management issues," Dees said. "He is just against everything - the government and his neighbors."
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Jimmy Lee Dykes Thanked By Sheriff For Caring For Hostage, Situation Still Going After 5 Days

Authorities said Saturday that Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver and Vietnam war veteran, is still holding hostage in a homemade bunker a child kidnapped from a school bus 5 days ago.
 
Dykes assaulted a school bus and killed driver Charles Albert Poland, 65, in Midland City, Alabama on Tuesday around 3:30 PM. He took a 5-year-old student from the bus and has been holding him hostage in a homemade bunker since the incident began.
 
Authorities said Dykes has allowed officials to deliver coloring books, medication and toys to the boy.
 
"I want to thank him for taking care of our boy," Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said. "That's very important."
 
Olson is limited in what information he can release and would not say whether Dykes has made any demands.
 
One neighbor, Michael Creel, says that Dykes constructed the bunker, which is buried 4 feet underground, over a period of two to three months using lumber and plywood.
 
"He was bragging about it. He said, 'Come check it out," Creel said.
 
Creel believes Dykes' goal is to garner publicity for his paranoid political beliefs.
 
"I believe he wants to rant and rave about politics and government," Creel said. "He's very concerned about his property. He doesn't want his stuff messed with."
 
A former hostage negotiator said that it would be ill-advised to take dramatic measures such as cutting the electricity to the bunker or flood it with sleeping gas.
 
Instead, they should "want to give him a reason to come out," said Clint Van Zandt.
 
State Rep. Mike Ball of Huntsville, who spent 15 years as a hostage negotiator with an Alabama law enforcement agency, said that the key to freeing the hostage was building a relationship with Dykes.
 
"They want to build a relationship with him and calm down the feeling of hopelessness he has," he said. "Any day that goes by with the child alive is a victory. If you string enough of those days together, he will come out."
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Alabama Hostage Standoff Enters 2nd Day

The standoff in Midland, Alabama between authorities and Jimmy Lee Dykes has entered its third day, as it was reported that the six year-old child he's currently holding hostage is doing "ok."

The kidnapper has been identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old military veteran who lives on a rural Private Road 1539 off of U.S. Highway 231. On Tuesday at 3:30 PM, Dykes assaulted a school bus and demanded hostages to hold off the “law coming for him.” He then fatally shot the driver, Charles Poland, multiple times after he attempted to prevent Dykes from escaping with a child.

The county coroner, Woodrow Hilboldt, said that Dykes had his hostage held in “what has been described to me as an underground bunker. Someplace to get out of the way of a tornado.”

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School Bus Kidnapper Pointed Guns At Neighbors and Killed Dog With a Lead Pipe


Neighbors describe Jimmy Lee Dykes, the 65-year-old Vietnam war veteran holding a 6-year-old child hostage in a bunker he constructed underneath his house, as a paranoid and aggressive survivalist who repeatedly threatened his neighbors with firearms.

Tim Byrd, an investigator with the Dale County Sheriff’s office described Dykes to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog as a “survivalist” with “anti-America” views and ties to anti-government extremist.

“His friends and his neighbors stated that he did not trust the government, that he was a Vietnam vet, and that he had PTSD,” Byrd said. “He was standoffish, didn’t socialize or have any contact with anybody. He was a survivalist type.”

The ongoing hostage situation which began around 3:30 PM Tuesday afternoon is likely related to charges of menacing a neighbor Dyke was scheduled to appear in court for today. In December, neighbor James Edward Davis Jr. said that Dykes fired rounds and pointed a gun at him and his daughter after accusing Davis of driving over a makeshift speed bump he had constructed in the dirt road leading to his house.

“Before this happened I would see him at several places and he would just stare a hole through me,” Claudia Davis, one of the three plaintiffs in the menacing case, said. “On Monday I saw him at a laundry mat and he seen me when I was getting in my truck and he just stared and stared and stared at me.”

Another neighbor, Mike Smith, reported that Dykes once threatened to murder his children with a firearm after the Smiths’ dogs wandered onto his propery.

“He goes around his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun,” Smith told reporters, mentioning that Dykes would also often be seen digging in his yard late at night.

Ronda Wilbur, another resident who lives close to Dykes, said that he would go outside in the middle of the night to shoot birds and rabbits. Dykes cut down nearly every tree on his property, built a wire fence and would go “beserk” if dogs entered his property. Wilbur said that Dykes had previously killed her dog with a lead pipe.

“He said his only regret was he didn't beat him to death all the way,” Wilbur said, mentioning that animal control had talked to Dykes but ultimately did nothing about the situation. “If a man can kill a dog, and beat it with a lead pipe and brag about it, it's nothing until it's going to be people.”

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Alabama Hostage Standoff: Did Slain Midland City Bus Driver Receive Hostage Situation Training?

Picture Credit: Dori

The Mobile, Alabama county school system's 600 drivers recieve training on how to deal with a hostage situation, officials said Wednesday.
 
But it's unclear whether the bus driver killed in the Midland City hostage situation, Charles Albert Poland, recieved the same training.
 
“We would hope that a situation like that would never occur, but we have to make sure our drivers are trained to respond in any situation,” said Pat Mitchell, transportation director for the school system said.

“Sometimes, an unfortunate situation occurs that may be out of our control. Mobile County is saddened by it. Our hearts and prayers go out to them.”
 
It is against the law for anyone other than a registered student, bus driver, or an authorized school employee to board a bus, Mitchell said. School busses are also subject to the same gun-free restrictions placed on schools.
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Jimmy Lee Dykes, School Bus Kidnapper, Shot At Neighbors For Damaging Homemade Speed Bump

Picture Credit: Dothan Eagle

More details have emerged regarding the Midland, Alabama hostage standoff centering around a 6-year-old kindergarten student kidnapped from a school bus who is currently being held in an underground bunker.

The kidnapper has been identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old military veteran who lives on a rural Private Road 1539 off of U.S. Highway 231. On Tuesday at 3:30 PM, Dykes assaulted a school bus and demanded hostages to hold off the “law coming for him.” He then fatally shot the driver multiple times after he attempted to prevent Dykes from escaping with a child.

The county coroner, Woodrow Hilboldt, said that Dykes had his hostage held in “what has been described to me as an underground bunker. Someplace to get out of the way of a tornado.”

Neighbors described Dykes' behavior as erratic. “It's the craziest thing. He will be outside in his yard digging dirt at 2:30 AM in the morning,” James Davis Jr. said.

 “He’s the type that thinks the government’s out to get him. He’s not right in the head,” adds neighbor Michael Creel.

Creel said he had attempted to stop Dykes.

“He’s 67 years old, so I figured I could catch him,” he said. “Apparently he didn’t go through the field like I thought. He’s got a four-foot-wide, about six-foot-long, eight-foot-deep homemade bomb shelter. It’s got about three to four feet of sand on top of it. If you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t [notice it].”

Law enforcement descended upon Dyke’s residence Tuesday. The house is now surrounded by dozens of SWAT team members, police, and federal agents, while reporters are being prevented from accessing the crime scene.

No other children on the bus were harmed and it is believed Dykes only has one hostage.

Police have identified the slain bus driver as Charles Albert Poland, 66, who has worked for the Dale County Board of Education since 2009.

Poland’s boss, Dale County Schools Superintendent Donny Bynum, said that the driver was a hero and that authorities “are doing everything within their powers to see to the safe release of this six year-old kindergarten student.”

Dykes was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for charges of menacing neighbors as they drove past his house last month. The neighbors claimed he yelled and fire shots after their pickup truck damaged a makeshift speed bump in his dirt road.

“Before this happened I would see him at several places and he would just stare a hole through me,” Claudia Davis, one of the three plaintiffs in the menacing case, said. “On Monday I saw him at a laundry mat and he seen me when I was getting in my truck and he just stared and stared and stared at me.”

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Jimmy Lee Dykes Hostage Situation LIVE: Military Veteran Holds Child Hostage In Bunker After Shooting School Bus Driver

SWAT teams have been called in to rescue a 6 year old boy kidnapped by a gunman in Midland City, Alabama, who killed a school bus driver and escape with the hostage.

Neither the hostage or bus driver have been identified, but police named the shooter as 60-something veteran Jimmy Lee Dykes.

The incident began at approximately 3:36 PM on Tuesday. An unidentified witness told ABC News that the gunman boarded the bus during a routine stop, and said that he needed 2 hostages “because of the law coming after him.”

"He shot the bus driver, and the driver's foot was on the gas and we went backwards. And everybody started screaming. And then the bus driver was still there and we all got off the bus and went to a neighbor's house," the witness said. The 6-year-old hostage was the only one on the bus unable to escape.

Police sources said the child is being held in an underground bunker. The boy is currently believed to be alive by the authorities, who were able to deliver needed medication to him.

This is an “extremely sensitive situation. ... Our agents are working very hard with the locals for the best possible outcome to this situation,” a federal law enforcement source told ABC News this morning.

According to records obtained by WDNH, Dykes was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday on charges of “menacing.”

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