FBI Communicating With Alabama Gunman Holding Child Hostage In Underground Bunker

Alabama authorities and FBI agents are camped outside the entrance to an underground bunker where a gunman has been holed up since abducting a 6-year-old boy from a school bus on Tuesday afternoon. Officers have been communicating with the suspect through a PVC pipe running into the bunker, and last night they were able to send the child’s daily medication in the pipe.

The abduction unfolded Tuesday around 4:40 p.m. ET in Midland City when the gunman boarded a school bus and demanded that a child leave with him. When bus driver Charles Poland Jr. refused to give in to the demands, the gunman shot him three times and fled with a 6-year-old boy. Poland, 66, died of his wounds.

Dale County Schools Superintendent Donny Bynum called Poland a hero.  "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," Bynum said in a statement.

While authorities have not released the gunman’s name, local residents identified the man as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes. Dykes was set to appear in court on Wednesday morning for menacing charges. He was arrested for menacing in late December after firing shots at his neighbors because one of their vehicles damaged a speed bump he had set up in front of his house.

According to reports, Dykes began building his bunker several months ago. It is believed to be stocked with enough food for 4 months.


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