Residents of Midland City, Ala., continue to hold vigils and offer prayers for a boy being held hostage in a bunker by a man who police say took the boy off a school bus after killing the driver on Tuesday.

School bus being removed from Alabama shooting scene (WTVY TV)

Prayers have also been offered for the slain driver and his family. Former hostage negotiators say authorities must be cautious and patient and that's how police are handling things so far.

Authorities hauled away a school bus they say was the scene of a shooting death and abduction that has led to a tense standoff with police.

Authorities say a gunman boarded the stopped bus on Tuesday afternoon, shot the bus driver to death and fled with a 5-year-old boy. Police say the gunman and the boy have been holed up in an underground bunker at the gunman's property ever since.

Authorities are talking with the gunman, identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes, and they are delivering medicine to the boy.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)