As the hostage situation in Midland City, Alabama entered its third day on Friday, authorities remained silent on details about the suspect, the suspect’s motive, and the progress of negotiations. Authorities have said they are communicating with the man through a ventilation pipe running into his underground bunker. The 5-year-old hostage is believed to be fine and has been given crayons, coloring books, and his daily medication through the pipe.
Local residents have identified the suspect at Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran who harbors anti-government sentiments. Dykes is believed to have stocked the 4 foot long, 6 foot wide bunker with enough food for 4 months. Neighbors say the bunker has electricity and television.
The abduction unfolded Tuesday around 4:40 p.m. ET when Dykes boarded a school bus and demanded that a child leave with him. When bus driver Charles Poland Jr. blocked the aisle, Dykes shot him three times and fled with a 5-year-old boy. Poland, 66, died of his wounds.
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.
Details on the 5-year-old hostage have not been released. His family has not spoken out publicly.
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