Alabama hostage standoff ends

This photograph released by the Alabama Department of Public Safety shows Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver officials identify as the suspect in a fatal shooting and hostage standoff in Midland City, Ala. (Alabama Department of Public Safety)
February 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A six-day standoff with a man who took a 5-year-old boy hostage in Alabama has ended. The suspect is dead, according to authorities. The boy was reportedly safely released. A news conference with police was expected Monday afternoon to give the public an update of the details.

Despite days of negotiations with authorities, Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, had still been holding the young boy in his homemade underground bunker in Midland City. Investigators say they still have no motive for Dykes' actions.

Investigators say Dykes pulled the child, Ethan, from a school bus on Tuesday after killing the driver, who tried to protect the 21 students on board.

"[Dykes] said he was going to kill us, going to kill us all," 14-year-old Tarrica Singletary told ABC News. "The bus driver kept saying, 'Just please get off the bus,' and [Dykes] said, 'Ah, all right, I'll get off the bus.' He just tried to back up and reverse and [Dykes] pulled out the gun and he just shot him, and he just took Ethan."

In a brief press conference Monday afternoon, authorities said they continue to provide the boy with food, medicine and other items of comfort. They remained reticent about other details. Hours later the standoff was reported to be over, but further details were not released.

Negotiators had been communicating with Dykes through a ventilation pipe that leads to the bunker. They have sent down some items for the boy, including medicine, snacks and toys. Officials said the bunker has electricity.

The 5-year-old's mother has told officials that her child has Asperger's syndrome, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Dykes was known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure who neighbors said 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 firearm.

The community in Midland City gathered Sunday to say their final goodbyes to the bus driver, 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland J. He is being hailed as a hero for protecting the other children on the bus before he was gunned down.

The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.


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