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In Alabama, Hostage Standoff Continues; Child Thought To Be Unharmed

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
January 31, 2013

The scary situation remains unchanged in southeast Alabama, where authorities say a man shot and killed a school bus driver on Tuesday and then took a 5-year-old boy to an underground bunker.

Dan Carsen of NPR member station WBHM tells our Newscast Desk that police are communicating with the kidnapper through a PVC pipe that connects to the bunker. Identified as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, the suspect is “described by neighbors as a paranoid and combative” man, Dan adds, with “extreme anti-government views.” He also reports that “neighbors told media Dykes had threatened them, regularly patrolled his yard with a gun, and killed pets. His bunker has electricity: the boy has reportedly been coloring and watching TV.”

AL.com reports that this morning that “Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said … there is no change in Midland City. … An army of officers from local, state, and federal agencies is on the scene, where negotiations have entered their 40th hour.” And the news outlet adds that:

“The 5-year-old child, whose name is not being released, is autistic, according to law enforcement sources. He requires medication, which Dykes has allowed to be delivered through a PVC pipe.”

The man Dykes allegedly killed was 66-year-old bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr., who AL.com writes “is said to have refused Dykes’ request for two children before Dykes shot him up to four times. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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