Efforts to free five-year-old boy from gunman in Alabama bunker ongoing
Efforts to free a five-year-old boy from a gunman in an underground bunker, where the man took him after killing the boy’s school bus driver, continued at the weekend as the stand-off in rural Alabama dragged into a fifth day.
Dale County sheriff Wally Olson, the chief spokesman for local law enforcement officials in Midland City, told a brief conference on Saturday that authorities had been in constant communication with the suspect, who was officially identified on Friday as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes.
Police believe Dykes, a retired trucker and Vietnam war veteran, fatally shot bus driver Charles Albert Poland (66) on Tuesday and then took one of Poland’s more than 20 child passengers hostage during their ride home from school.
Mr Olson declined to disclose any specific demands made by Dykes, saying he had allowed authorities to provide colouring books, toys and medication for the child, who reportedly suffers from Asperger’s syndrome or another disorder on the autism spectrum.
According to his neighbours, Dykes moved into the Midland City area about two years ago and was often seen patrolling his property at night with a gun and a flashlight. He kept mostly to himself and had spent a lot of time building the subterranean bunker near the trailer where he lived, several neighbours have told reporters.
Mr Poland’s funeral took place yesterday. – (Reuters)