Alabama Hostage Standoff Continues [VIDEO]
Neighbors of an Alabama man accused of holding a 5-year-old boy hostage in a bunker say the man, 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, is volatile, has anti-government views and has threatened his neighbors at gunpoint.
But a state lawmaker who met with authorities say Dykes has allowed authorities to lower the boy’s medicine into the bunker.
The standoff began Tuesday after police say Dykes shot and killed a school bus driver in Midland City and took the boy off the bus.
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 kindergartener’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 Dykes through a PVC pipe leading into the shelter.
Authorities gave no details of the standoff, and it was unclear if Dykes made any demands from the bunker, which resembled a tornado shelter.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)