FBI Discovers Bombs Inside Alabama Hostage Bunker

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MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) -- The FBI says the Alabama man who held a 5-year-old boy captive in an underground bunker for nearly a week engaged in a "firefight" with SWAT agents before he was killed during a rescue operation.

Special Agent Jason Pack said in an email that it also appears 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes "reinforced the bunker against any attempted entry by law enforcement."

Pack said bomb technicians found two explosive devices Tuesday on the property. He said one was inside the bunker, the other was located inside the plastic pipe through which he had been talking with negotiators

Officers killed Dykes on Monday, six days after he boarded a school bus, fatally shot the driver and abducted the young boy.

Midland City, AL - Bomb technicians with the FBI, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the Dothan Police Department continue to search the crime scene for explosive hazards.

Two devices were located and disrupted today. One device was located inside the bunker. The other device was located in the plastic pipe the subject told the negotiators to use to communicate with him.

The search for hazards is expected to continue through tomorrow.

When the bomb technicians finish, Evidence Response Teams will begin to process the scene which could take several days

Preliminary investigation indicates the subject engaged in a firefight with the SWAT agents who made entry.

It also appears that the subject reinforced the bunker against any attempted entry by law enforcement.

The Sheriff's Department and the Alabama Department of Public Safety are working with displaced residents are being considered on a case by case basis so they can take care of animals and other needs.

The shooting review team continues to gather facts regarding the incident.

Statement from Ethan's Mother on his Homecoming

For the first time in almost a week, I woke up this morning to the most beautiful sight, my sweet boy. I can't describe how incredible it is to hold him again.

Ethan is safe and back in my arms, and I owe it all to some of the most compassionate people on Earth. I will never be able to repay those who helped bring Ethan home -- Sheriff Wally Olson and his team, District Attorney of Dale and Geneva counties, Kirke Adams, and his Victims Services officer, Amarylis Benefield; Wiregrass Angel House’s Shelly Linderman; all law enforcement agencies including the FBI and its Victims Specialist Helen Smith, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and other divisions of the Alabama Department of Public Safety and Houston County Sheriff’s Office; Sanctuary of Praise and its staff; Destiny Church and its staff and congregation; and Pastor Jim Hill of Ridgecrest Baptist Church of Ozark.

And then there are our friends and neighbors who showered us with love and prayers during this weeklong ordeal and those who have provided food and other necessities for the many officers who worked tirelessly to bring an end to this situation.

My family and I ask that you respect our privacy and give us a little time -- time to heal, time to put this nightmare behind us, time to move forward.

Midland City, AL -- The streets in downtown Midland City were quiet and calm Tuesday, but the residents are far from back to normal.

The nearly week long ordeal started when authorities say Jimmy Lee Dykes shot and killed a bus driver and abducted a five year old child named Ethan. It ended Monday when the FBI stormed the bunker Dykes was holding in Ethan in.

Officials say that flash bang grenades were used to stun Dykes before he was shot and killed and Ethan was rescued.

Ribbons and signs asking for Ethan to be released covered downtown, but on Tuesday a new sign went up. Outside of the Midland City library were the words "Welcome home Ethan. We love you. You're our hero."

The assistant librarian Angie Romero said that Ethan and his family would come in for a summer reading program.

"We're a close community, and we believe in taking care of our children, and each other as far as that goes, and when something like this happens especially to a special needs child we try to all pull together and help each other get through it," said Romero.

City officials said they were not informed about the rescue operation until moments before it happened. They are now focused on moving the community forward from the difficult situation.

"There's so much support in this community that everyone will come together. I think that everything will move in a good direction, maybe this well help people realize to love and hug their children more, and spend more time with their children," said Midland City Clerk Melissa Knighton.

Midland City Elementary school says it will hold a celebration for Ethan who turns six on Wednesday. The celebration will also honor Charles Poland, the bus driver who is said to have tried to protect the children from Dykes before being shot.

CBS Web Copy

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. Authorities stormed an underground bunker in southeastern Alabama Monday, freeing a 5-year-old boy and shooting his captor to death after a week of fruitless negotiations that left authorities convinced the child was in imminent danger.

Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, had taken the child off a school bus after fatally shooting the driver Jan. 29 and was holed up with the child for seven days, authorities said.

An FBI Hostage Rescue team launched the rescue attempt after concerns mounted that Dykes was growing more unstable and presented a growing threat to the boy's safety, a U.S. official told CBS News. At some point during the negotiations, authorities had inserted a camera into the bunker and observed that Dykes had begun brandishing a gun and acting increasingly agitated - signs his mental state was deterioriating. Rescuers stormed the bunker from an entrance at its top, set off a diversionary explosive device and ultimately shot Dykes.

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How did the Ala. hostage standoff end?

Dykes, who served in the Navy from 1964 to 1969, earning several awards, including the Vietnam Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal, was known by neighbors for his anti-government rants and for patrolling his property with a gun, ready to shoot trespassers. Neighbors described Dykes as a menacing, unpredictable man who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe.

A law enforcement source did not disclose Dykes' motives but said he had issues he had wanted to air and one of them was of an anti-government nature, according to CBS senior investigative producer Pat Milton. The source did not elaborate.

He had stayed for several days in the tiny bunker before.

"He always said he'd never be taken alive. I knew he'd never come out of there," said an acquaintance, Roger Arnold.

Monday evening, officers were sweeping the property to make sure Dykes had not set up any bombs that could detonate.

At a late Monday news conference, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said the boy had been threatened, but declined to elaborate.

"That's why we went inside -- to save the child," he said.

Authorities said the boy has been reunited with his mother and appears to be OK.

Richardson said he had been to the hospital to see the boy and he was laughing, joking, eating and "doing the things you'd expect a normal 5- or 6-year-old to do."

Michael Senn, pastor of a church near where reporters had been camped out since the standoff began, said he was relieved the child had been taken to safety.

However, he also recalled the bus driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., who had been hailed as a hero for protecting nearly two dozen other children on the bus before being shot by Dykes.

"As we rejoice tonight for (the boy) and his family, we still have a great emptiness in our community because a great man was lost in this whole ordeal," Senn said.

The rescue capped a long drama that drew national attention to this town of 2,400 people nestled amid peanut farms and cotton fields that has long relied on a strong Christian faith, a policy of "love thy neighbor" and the power of group prayer. The child's plight prompted nightly candlelight vigils.

Throughout the ordeal, authorities had been speaking with Dykes though a plastic pipe that went into the shelter. They also sent food, medicine and other items into the bunker, which apparently had running water, heat and cable television but no toilet. It was about 4 feet underground, with about 50 square feet of floor space.

Authorities said the kindergartner appeared unharmed. He was taken to a hospital in nearby Dothan. Officials have said he has Asberger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Melissa Knighton, city clerk in Midland City, said a woman had been praying in the town center Monday afternoon. Not long after, the mayor called with news that Dykes was dead and that the boy was safe.

"She must have had a direct line to God because shortly after she left, they heard the news," Knighton said.

Dykes had some scrapes with the law in Florida, including a 1995 arrest for improper exhibition of a weapon. The misdemeanor was dismissed. He also was arrested for marijuana possession in 2000.

He returned to Alabama about two years ago, moving onto the rural tract about 100 yards from his nearest neighbors.

Arnold recalled that, for a time, Dykes lived in his pickup truck in the parking lot of the apartment complex where Dykes' sister lived. He would stay warm by building a fire in a can on the floorboard and kept boxes of letters he wrote to the president and the unspecified head of the mafia, Arnold said.

Dykes believed the government had control of many things, including a dog track he frequented in the Florida Panhandle. Arnold said that Dykes believed if a dog was getting too far ahead and wasn't supposed to win, the government would shock it.

Ronda Wilbur, a neighbor of Dykes who said the man beat her dog to death last year with a pipe, said she was relieved to be done with the stress of knowing Dykes was patrolling his yard and willing to shoot at anyone or anything that trespassed.

"The nightmare is over," she said. "It's been a long couple of years of having constant stress."

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

CBS Web Copy

(CBS/AP) MIDLAND CITY, Ala. - Officials say they stormed a bunker in Alabama and rescued a 5-year-old boy being held hostage there after his abductor was seen with a gun.

Steve Richardson with the FBI's office in Mobile said at a news conference Monday afternoon that negotiations deteriorated with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, and officers believed the child was in imminent danger.

Officers entered the bunker just after 3 p.m. CST.

Earlier, a U.S. official told CBS News that the nearly week-long hostage standoff had ended in the kidnapper's death. Authorities did not disclose details of how Dykes died.

A law enforcement source did not disclose a motive for the abduction and hostage standoff but said that Dykes had issues he had wanted to air and one of those issues was of an anti-government nature, according to CBS senior investigative producer Pat Milton. The source did not elaborate.

Authorities said Dykes gunned down school bus driver Charles Poland Jr., 66, before taking his hostage. Poland was buried Sunday.

The FBI said in a statement Sunday that the kidnapped boy had requested Cheez-Its and a red Hot Wheels car, both of which were delivered to the bunker. Authorities said they were also delivering medicine and other comfort items, and that Dykes had been making the child as comfortable as possible. CBS correspondent Mark Strassman reports police communicated with Dykes through a 4-inch ventilation pipe.

CBS correspondents John Miller and Bob Orr report the FBI's Rescue Hostage Team carried out the rescue when it was clear the kidnapper's mental state was deteriorating -- and he began brandishing a gun. The FBI used a flash-bang to create a diversion before going in, and the whole operation was over very quickly. An official stressed that "seconds make all the difference" in these types of rescues.

Mel Adams, a Midland City Council member who has known Dykes since they were ages 3 and 4, said Dykes is estranged from his family. Adams said he didn't know what caused the falling-out, but that he knew Dykes "had told part of his family to go to hell."

Midland City Mayor Virgil Skipper said Dykes' sister is in a nursing home. Adams said that law enforcement officers had talked to Dykes' family members and advised them not to speak with reporters, and that officers told his sister there was nothing she could do to help the child in the bunker.

(CBS News correspondent John Miller discusses how the FBI rescued the 5-year-old boy being held hostage)

Government records and interviews with neighbors indicate that Dykes joined the Navy in Midland City, serving on active duty from 1964 to 1969. His record shows several awards, including the Vietnam Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. Dykes was trained in aviation maintenance and at one point was based in Japan. It was unclear if he saw combat in Vietnam.

At some point after his time in the Navy, Dykes lived in Florida, where he worked as a surveyor and a long-haul truck driver. It's unclear how long he stayed there. He had some scrapes with the law in Florida, including a 1995 arrest for improper exhibition of a weapon. The misdemeanor was dismissed. He also was arrested for marijuana possession in 2000.

He returned to Alabama about two years ago. Neighbors described Dykes as a man 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 firearm.

His neighbor Michael Creel said Dykes had an adult daughter, but the two lost touch years ago.
According to Creel, his property has a white trailer that Dykes said he bought from FEMA after it was used to house evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. The property also has a steel shipping container in which Dykes stored tools and supplies.

Creel said he helped Dykes with supplies to build the bunker and has been in it twice, adding that Dykes wanted protection from hurricanes.

"He said he lived in Florida and had hurricanes hit. He wanted someplace he could go down in and be safe," Creel said. Authorities say the bunker is about 6 feet by 8 feet, and the only entrance is a trap door at the top.

Such bunkers are not uncommon in rural Alabama because of the threat of tornadoes.

FBI Press Release

At approximately 3: 12 this afternoon, FBI Special Agents safely recovered the child who has been held hostage for nearly a week. Within the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated with Mr. Dykes and he became increasingly agitated. Negotiators observed Dykes holding a weapon.

At this point, FBI Agents fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child. The child appears physically unharmed and is being treated at a local hospital. The suspect is deceased.

Right now, FBI Special Agent Bomb Technicians are in the process of clearing the property for improvised explosive devices. When it is safe to do so, our evidence response teams, paired with state and local crime scene technicians, will process the scene.

The resolution of this matter is the direct result of extraordinary collaboration of law enforcement at all levels. The exhaustive efforts and dedication of this community’s law enforcement is truly exemplary. I want to thank the entire community for its support

We hope to provide additional details at a press briefing later this evening.

Associate Press Release

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) -- Officials say they stormed a bunker in Alabama to rescue a 5-year-old child being held hostage there after his abductor was seen with a gun.

Steve Richardson with the FBI's office in Mobile said at a news conference Monday afternoon that negotiations deteriorated and that 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes had been seen with a gun.

At that, officers believed the child was in imminent danger. Officers entered the bunker just after 3 p.m. CST.

It was not immediately clear how Dykes died.

CBS Web Copy

(CBS/AP) MIDLAND CITY, Ala. - A U.S. official tells CBS News that a nearly week-long hostage standoff in which a 5-year-old was being held captive in southeast Alabama has ended in the kidnapper's death. The child is said to be okay.

Authorities said 65-year-old Jimmy Dykes gunned down a school bus driver Tuesday and abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus before taking him to an underground bunker on his rural property. The driver, 66-year-old Charles Poland Jr., was buried Sunday.

Dykes, a decorated Vietnam-era veteran described as a loner who railed against the government, lived up a dirt road just off the main road north to the state capital of Montgomery, about 80 miles away.

CBS radio affiliate WSB says reporters heard what may have been a concussion grenade before ambulance and fire vehicles went to and from Dykes' property about 4p.m. Eastern Time Monday.

CBS Web Copy

(CBS News) The Alabama hostage drama is now in its seventh day. The 5-year-old boy held captive underground by Jimmy Lee Dykes remains underground and could spend his birthday as a hostage. The boy, identified only as Ethan, turns six on Wednesday.

Police tell CBS News they still have an open line of communication with the Dykes, but almost a full week into this standoff, very little has changed.

Details about communications with the suspect Dykes, remain scarce. Dykes did allow police to lower crackers and a red hot wheels car into the underground bunker for his hostage.

Cindy Steiner, a friend of Ethan's family, told CBS News he has autism. She said, "He's crying, he wants his momma, he's never really been away from her."

Police said Dykes appears to be caring for Ethan. Sheriff Wally Olson said in a recent press conference, "Thank you for taking care of our child."

Neighbors remember Dykes for his anti-government rants. CBS News has learned Dykes is a decorated veteran. He served in the Navy in the late 1960s, based in Japan and California and received awards for good conduct.

CBS News senior correspondent John Miller, a former FBI assistant director, who has been involved in other hostage and standoff situations, said there are some good signs in this situation. He said Dykes' caring for the boy is a sign of bonding. "You can see that when Dykes asks for coloring books, crayons. He allows medication to come in," he said. "He's trying to provide for this boy, so as time goes on, that bond should increase.

"It also happens with the negotiators. There's going to be a primary negotiator who started this conversation and a backup negotiator and then over this many days they're going to be others. He's going develop relationships and trust as he asks for things and they give him things and they ask for things in return. ... That can only get better, probably not worse."

Miller said the situation with Dykes may be controlled to some extent by negotiators, but depends largely on Dykes' own rollercoaster or emotions. Miller explained, "One would argue this might not be a stable person, so they have to manage that in that conversation and sometimes they may want to do a controlled probe to stir things up if there's no conversation, but otherwise they may want to talk him down if he's getting excited. But they want to keep that even if they can."

Explaining what a controlled probe is, Miller said it's a possible tactic "when somebody breaks off conversation, you can stir things up. Make some noise, do something provocative. That will usually generate a phone call. And then at least you've got a conversation going on. On the other hand, when somebody is getting very excited for perspective, they say, let's see where things are. 'The kid's fine, you're fine, let's bring this down a notch.'"

Children in the area will return to school Monday for the first time since the shooting.

On Sunday, just miles from the standoff, hundreds gathered to remember slain bus driver Charles Poland, Jr. Police say Dykes shot Poland Tuesday, when he stormed this school bus demanding child hostages.

Robbie Batchelor, a fellow school bus driver, said of Poland, "He laid down his life for the kids on the bus."

Twenty children on that bus escaped.

Watch Manuel Bojorquez's full report in the video above.
© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

WTVY Web Copy

February 4, 2013
12:52 AM

No major developments to report at this time. A press conference is currently scheduled for 11am Monday morning.

WTVY Web Copy

February 3, 2013
9:03 AM

We were expecting a 9:00 a.m. press conference with police. That conference was canceled and has been rescheduled for later this afternoon. Here's the release they sent us this morning:

For Immediate Release:

The Sunday morning press briefing has been reschuled for later this afternoon.

Overnight, there were no new developments to report. The law enforcement community continues to work toward a safe resolution of this situation for both the child and Mr. Dykes.

Today, we will deliver additional comfort items as Mr. Dykes allows, including food, toys and medicine.

We continue to maintain an open line of communication 24 hours a day, whenever he wants to talk.

Mr. Dykes continues to make the child as comfortable as possible.

Jason Pack
Special Agent, FBI
Alabama Joint Information Center

By: Mike Springer
February 3, 2013

Midland City, AL-A small Alabama community laid to rest a bus driver who authorities say was shot and killed while he tried to keep another man from abducting a young boy from off his bus.

Cars pack the Ozar Civic Center's parking lot as people came remember, 66-year-old Charles Poland Jr. Sunday afternoon.

Poland is the bus driver who authorities say was allegedly shot and killed by 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes as Dykes grabbed a 5-year-old boy named Ethan who authorities say may be autistic off the bus.

Poland's death has left many here heart broken.

"He was just a wonderful, truly great, honest, perfect man," said Lisa Stokes who attended the funeral Sunday.

Several miles up the road sits the compound authorities have been staking out since Tuesday. Authorities believe this is where Dykes and the boy are holed up inside an underground bunker.

Authorities say they've been maintaining contact with Dykes through a pipe that connects to his bunker.

Authorities have not said what they believe Dykes' demands are they do believe Ethan is in good health.

As authorities use the pipe to negotiate with Dykes and send down supplies like medicine, food, coloring books and even hot wheels for Ethan, many in town say they're praying for the boy's safe return home.

"To Ethan, I want him to know that we love him, there's a lot of people that love him and if I could see him I would just hug him and squeeze him and hold him and tell him that everything's going to be okay," said Sherri Johnson-Parker who along with her two children held up signs asking people to pray for Ethan near where authories say the boy is being held.

Around 9 p.m. Sunday, school officials annouced school would resume on Monday.

The county had cancled school because of the ongoing situation.

Associated Press Release
February 2, 2013

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) -- The police standoff with an Alabama man accused of holding a 5-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker continues for a fifth day.

Meanwhile, a nearby community is preparing to bury the beloved bus driver who was shot to death trying to protect children on his bus when the episode began days earlier.

Charles Albert Poland Jr., was described by folks in his hometown of Newton as a humble hero. And hundreds of people attended visitation services for him this evening. Mourners say they're proud of Poland for his act of selflessness, and for laying down his life for the children. His funeral is set for Sunday afternoon. Poland was 66.

Meanwhile, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson says the suspect, Jim Lee Dykes, has told authorities he has blankets and an electric heater in the bunker on his property. Authorities have been communicating with Dykes through a ventilation pipe.

Olson also thanked Dykes for taking care of the boy and allowing police to deliver coloring books, medication and toys for him.

The shooting and abduction took place in Midland City, a small town near Dothan, Ala., in the state's southeastern corner.

By: Lanetra Bennett
February 1, 2013

Community members near Dothan, Alabama say they can't believe the standoff has lasted for four days now. A local pastor says the parents of five-year-old Ethan are trying to hold it together the best they can.

Not many people seem to know much about 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes and why he shot the bus driver and took the five-year-old boy.

Friday afternoon, authorities towed the school bus from the property. Authorities say Dykes boarded the bus and killed bus driver--66-year-old Charles Poland on Tuesday.

As FBI agents and law enforcement officers filled the property where Dykes is holding the boy in an underground bunker, the community continues to send up prayers.

Local pastor Michael Senn says, "He's a very loving child. The children in the community are missing him. He would go home every afternoon and play with several of his neighbors' children. Even the children have said that they've missed him these last several afternoons."

Poland's funeral has been set for Sunday at 2 p.m. central time. It will be held at the Ozark Civic Center in the small, nearby town of Ozark, Alabama.

Several local restaurants are giving some of their proceeds toward Poland's family and funeral arrangements, as well as money to little Ethan's family.

Authorities say they will continue to release information as soon as they get it as long as it is not detrimental to the case.

Area resident Sarah King says, "I just had to go get my car out of Montgomery yesterday. When I saw bus drivers, there were patrols on the buses and everybody is just scared because people are nervous about their children. I want to give my nieces a big hug and kiss them and everything like that."

Authorities say the standoff could go on for some time.

They say the underground bunker where Dykes is keeping the kindergartner has electricity and food for days.

Pastor Senn says the child's parents, and the entire community, are praying for a positive outcome.

CBS Web Copy

(CBS/AP) MIDLAND CITY, Ala. - Police have released a photo of the man they say is holding a 5-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker on his rural Alabama property.

Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, allegedly shot a school bus driver to death Tuesday, grabbed the kindergartner, and slipped into the bunker, which reportedly has electricity, food, and TV.

The standoff between police and Dykes dragged into a fourth day on Friday, as authorities sought to continue delicate conversations with the man through a pipe and worked to safely end the tense situation.

Police have delivered the boy's medication through a 4-inch-wide ventilation pipe leading to the bunker.

Hostage negotiators have used the pipe to talk to the gunman, identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes, but investigators have been tightlipped about their conversations.

Updated by: Lanetra Bennett
January 31, 2013

The law enforcement standoff with a man who's holding a 5-year-old boy hostage is in its third day.

Authorities say they are negotiating with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes through an underground pipe.

Authorities on Tuesday, Dykes boarded a school bus in a small town near Dothan, Alabama, shot the bus driver, and took the child.

Officers say Dykes has the boy in an underground bunker on his property off of Highway 231. Authorities say there is food and electricity in the bunker, and say Dykes is allowing them to send the child's medication inside. Authorities say the kindergartner has autism.

Authorities say they do not know Dykes' motives. They hope to resolve the situation soon.

The community has held several prayer vigils.

WTVY Release

UPDATE 10:53 A.M.

We've learned that area law enforcement agencies are sending in manpower to the hostage situation. They're rotating with Midland City and Dale County authorities so officers can take breaks.

We've also learned that national law enforcement agencies are stepping in to help. FBI spokesman Jason Pack released this statement:

"We are working with state and local law enforcement to bring this situation to a resolution. Investigators have no reason now to believe the suspect has injured the child.

FBI hostage negotiators are working with state and local negotiators, said a federal law enforcement official."

CBS Web Copy

Updated at 8:02 a.m. ET

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. A standoff that started when a man boarded a school bus full of children near his home in a rural Alabama neighborhood, killed the driver and took one 5-year-old boy hostage entered its third day Thursday.

The suspect and the child hostage have not been identified by police.

People who live along the rutted red clay road said the suspect is a retired truck driver with a reputation, CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports. They said he allegedly beat a dog to death and threatened to shoot kids who trespass on his property. He was reportedly due in court this week on a weapons charge.

Neighbor Ronda Wilbur described the suspect to CBS News as "very anti-social, very anti-government" and that he "hates everybody."

"My granddaughter who just turned 7, when I have her visiting me this next weekend, I won't have to worry about 'mean man,'" Wilbur told CBS News. "One way or another he's not gonna be there. He will either be locked up, or he'll be dead."

Wilbur told The Associated Press that the suspect beat her 120-pound dog with a lead pipe for coming onto his side of the dirt road. The dog died a week later.

"He said his only regret was he didn't beat him to death all the way," Wilbur told the AP. "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."

The neighborhood near Midland City, population 2,300, remained under siege after the Tuesday shooting, with the suspect and child holed up in a bunker-type shelter on the man's property that was equipped with electricity, food and TV.

On Thursday, dozens of police cars and rental cars that had brought FBI agents to the site were parked about the state highway at the clay road's entrance. A large law enforcement truck also pulled up before dawn to a staging area for law enforcement agents that was lit by bright lights overnight.

At least one ambulance was parked nearby and numerous television news satellite trucks also lined up across the rural highway.

Homes on the road had been evacuated earlier after authorities found what they believed to be a bomb on the property. SWAT teams earlier had taken up positions around the gunman's property and police negotiators tried to win the kindergartner's safe release.

The situation remained unchanged for hours as negotiators continued talking to the suspect, Alabama State Trooper Charles Dysart told a news conference late Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Sheriff Wally Olson said that authorities had "no reason to believe that the child has been harmed."

Local TV station WDHN obtained a police dispatch recording of the moment officers first arrived at the site. On it, the officers are heard saying that they were trying to communicate with the suspect through a PVC pipe leading into the shelter.

Authorities gave no details of the standoff, and it was unclear if the suspect made any demands from the bunker, which resembled a tornado shelter.

State Rep. Steve Clouse, who met with authorities and visited the boy's family, said the bunker had food and electricity, and the youngster was watching TV.

At one point, authorities lowered medicine into the bunker for the boy after his captor agreed to it, Clouse said.

The standoff began after school Tuesday afternoon. Olson said the man shot the bus driver several times when he refused to hand over the 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 other traumatized children after the attack.

The bus driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, was hailed by locals as a hero who gave his life to protect the 21 students aboard the bus. Authorities say most of the students scrambled to the back of the bus when the gunman boarded and said he wanted two boys 6 to 8 years old.

But when the gunman went down the aisle, authorities said, Poland put his arm out to grab a pole near the front steps of the vehicle, trying to block the suspect. That's when authorities say the driver was shot four times before the gunman grabbed the child at random and fled.

Mike and Patricia Smith, who live across the street from the suspect and whose two children were on the bus, said their youngsters had a run-in with him about 10 months ago.

"My bulldogs got loose and went over there," Patricia Smith said. "The children went to get them. He threatened to shoot them if they came back."

"He's very paranoid," her husband said. "He goes around in his yard at night with a flashlight and shotgun."

The suspect had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday to face a charge of menacing some neighbors as they drove by his house weeks ago. Claudia Davis said he yelled and fired shots at her, her son and her baby grandson over damage the suspect claimed their pickup truck did to a makeshift speed bump in the dirt road. No one was hurt.

"Before this happened, I would see him at several places and he would just stare a hole through me," Davis said. "On Monday I saw him at a laundromat and he seen me when I was getting in my truck, and he just stared and stared and stared at me."

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Associated Press Release


MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) -- An Alabama legislator says a 6-year-old boy who is being held hostage has been able to receive medicine and watch TV.

State Rep. Steve Clouse said Wednesday he met with authorities and visited the family of the boy.

The boy's captor is accused of intercepting a school bus on his rural road Tuesday and fatally shooting the driver before taking the boy.

Clouse described the standoff as a "static situation" and "a waiting game."

Authorities told him that the bunker on the suspect's property has electricity, food and a TV.

Neighbors have identified the man who lives on the property as a paranoid and combative retired truck driver named Jimmy Lee Dykes.

WTVY Web Copy

UPDATE 11:47 a.m.: Confirmed contact has been made with the hostage victim. Right now the child is safe, but still being held captive.

We will be breaking in with hour by hour updates.

Stay with News 4 for more information as it becomes available.

WTVY Web Copy

UPDATE 10:43 a.m.: Vivian B. Adams School in Ozark will be open tomorrow.

WTVY Web Copy

UPDATE 9:54 a.m.: Dale County Schools as well as Ozark City Schools will be closed for the remainder of the week.

Stay with WTVY for the latest updates on this situation The next update will be at 10a.m.

WTVY Web Copy


Yesterday, tragedy struck the Dale County Schools family. Today, we are extending our hearts and prayers for the safe return of one our students and we are mourning a hero, 66 year-old Charles Poland, who gave his life to protect twenty-one students who are now home safely with their families.

Mr. Poland was well-loved by all of us here at Dale County Schools and has been a bus driver for the school system for four years. Prior to his full-time service, he was a substitute bus driver. He was a valuable member of our transportation department, and we will forever remember his for the bravery he showed yesterday.

Now our thoughts and efforts are with our children. Their well-being is our number one concern. The authorities, the Midland City Police Department, the Dale County Sheriff’s Department, ABI, FBI, Homeland Security, and other surrounding city and county agencies, responded immediately to this situation and are doing everything within their powers to see to the safe release of this six year-old Kindergarten student.

We are activating our student support services and have our counselors and volunteer counselors coming in on Friday to help students through their grief, including those who witnessed this terrible tragedy.

Emotions are high, and it’s a struggle for us all to make sense of something so senseless, but let us keep this young student, his family, and Mr. Poland’s family in our thoughts and prayers. We also ask the media to please, during this difficult time, respect the families’ wishes for privacy.

All Dale County Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the week. Due to the closeness of the Ozark City System, they too will remain closed.

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All Dale County Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the week. Due to the closeness of the Ozark City System, they will also remain closed.

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January 30, 2013
Update 7:30 a.m.

Efforts to bring this ongoing incident to a close have continued through the night. At this time law enforcement has extended the evacuation area to ensure the safety of those living in the immediate area. The Dale County Sheriffs Department has confirmed the identity of the victim as 66 year old Charles Albert Poland Junior. Mr. Poland was employed by Dale County Board of Education in 2009 as a Bus Driver. Mr. Poland was acting in his official duties yesterday when fatally shot. The Dale County Board of Education and Dale County Sheriff’s Department would like to offer our deepest condolences to the Poland Family.

Sgt. David Dothan Police Department on behalf of Sheriff Olson

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UPDATE 7:29 A.M.

The S.W.A.T. Team is back on the scene.

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UPDATE 7:08 A.M.

The situation is largely unchanged. Police confirm that the suspect is still in the underground shelter with the child. Police tell us they have been in contact with the child.

We have one confirmed fatality from the shooting yesterday on the school bus. Police have not identified the victim yet.

News 4's Paul Stockman will remain on the scene for much of the day today, and as always we'll bring you any new information on News 4, wtvy.com and right here.

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UPDATE 4:02 A.M.

Multiple law enforcement agencies - including the Dothan Police Dept., Dale Co. Sheriff's Office and FBI - are still on the scene at Destiny Church on Private Road 1539 in Dale County.

At 10:00 p.m., police confirmed they have had contact with the child in custody. They are communicating with him through a pvc pipe in the bunker. The child is reportedly autistic and has reportedly received medication since being taken hostage.

Witnesses and neighbors tell us the suspect is 67-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes. However, police have not officially released his name.

The situation started when the suspect entered a Dale County school bus around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Police confirm he shot the bus driver and took a child from the bus.

Police have confirmed one fatality. They also confirm that the suspect is still holding a child hostage.

Nearby homes have been evacuated for safety precautions.

The Salvation Army is making sure the officers on the scene have enough food.

Associated Press Release

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama man whose property is surrounded by police after a school bus shooting had been due in court on a charge of threatening neighbors.

Investigators have not released the suspect's name. Neighbors said the rural property near Dothan at the heart of the standoff Wednesday belonged to Jimmy Lee Dykes, a man in his 60s.

Court records showed Dykes had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to face a charge of menacing some neighbors as they drove by his house last month. The neighbors said he yelled and fired shots over damage he claimed their pickup truck did to a make-shift speed bump in the dirt road.

The standoff started Tuesday after a gunman boarded a stopped school bus, shot the driver and took a 6-year-old student.

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Updated at 8:26 a.m. ET

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. Police, SWAT teams and negotiators were at a rural property where a man was believed to be holed up in a homemade bunker Wednesday after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old child passenger, authorities said.

The man boarded the stopped school bus in the town of Midland City on Tuesday afternoon and shot the driver when he refused to let the child off the bus, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen told WBMA-TV. The driver later died of his wounds. His identity wasn't released.

The shooter took the child, authorities said.

County coroner Woodrow Hilboldt told The Associated Press the overnight standoff continued early Wednesday with tactical units, negotiators and other officers at the scene near a church. He said the suspect was believed to be in an underground shelter on his property.

"That's what has been described to me as an underground bunker. Someplace to get out of the way of a tornado," Hilboldt said.

The coroner said the victim, who was in his mid-60s, died of multiple gunshot wounds. He wouldn't release a name until family had been notified.

CBS affiliate WTVY-TV in the nearby town of Dothan reports that police were communicating with the suspect through a PVC pipe in the bunker.

Claudia Davis, who lives on the road where the standoff was taking place, said early Wednesday that she and her neighbors can't leave because the one road was blocked by police.

Davis, 54, said she has had run-ins with the man suspected as the shooter.

"Before this happened I would see him at several places and he would just stare a hole through me," Davis said. "On Monday I saw him at a laundromat and he seen me when I was getting in my truck and he just started and stared and stared at me."

Midland City police would not comment, and a dispatcher at the Dale City Sheriff's office told The Associated Press early Wednesday that the agency was not releasing any immediate details.

"Authorities also confirmed the presence of a child at the scene but are giving no further information at this time," Rachel David, a spokeswoman for the police department in the nearby city of Dothan, said in a news release late Tuesday.

Michael Creel, who lives on the road where the shooting happened, said he went outside after his sister heard gunshots.

"Me and her started running down the road," Creel told the Dothan Eagle. "That's when I realized the bus had its siren going off. Kids were filing out, running down the hill toward the church."

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