This is a syndicated post from Politics to Parenting and Everything in Between. [Read the original article...]
This story has been capturing my attention, and much of the nations, all week since a deranged ‘crazy man’ boarded a school bus on Tuesday afternoon in Midland City, AL. He then shot and killed the bus driver after he tried to stop the man from taking two children hostage. The man demanded two kids at first, a six and eight year old. Why he requested those age groups and if he asked for a boy and girl is not known. He was able to take the little boy, Ethan, after he fainted and couldn’t flee like the other children did while the ‘crazy man’ and the bus driver scuffled.
A candlelight vigil honors the memory of bus driver Charles Poland and pleads for the release of a five-year-old boy held hostage in a bunker by Poland’s alleged killer
The poor little boy, Ethan, is still being held by this ‘crazy man’. I sure pray he is still safe and unharmed. Reports are that he’s been crying for his parents since he was abducted three days ago by the nutcase who shot and killed the bus driver.
Below is video of a witness describing the school bus abduction:
More:MIDLAND CITY, Ala. – More than three days after he allegedly shot dead a school bus driver, grabbed a 5-year-old child and slipped into an underground bunker in the rural U.S., Jimmy Lee Dykes was showing no signs Friday of turning himself over to police.Hostage negotiators spoke into a narrow ventilation pipe leading into the bunker, trying to talk the 65-year-old, said to hold anti-government views, into freeing the boy. One local official said the child had been crying for his parents.Dykes, described by neighbors as threatening and violent, is accused of pulling the boy at random from the bus Tuesday and killing the driver who tried to protect the 21 children aboard. The gunman and the boy were holed up in a small underground room on his property that authorities likened to a tornado shelter, not uncommon in the rural South.A state lawmaker said the shelter has electricity, food and TV, and there were signs that the standoff along a dirt road could continue for some time.“The three past days have not been easy on anybody,” Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said late Thursday. He said authorities’ primary goal was to get the boy home safely.“There’s no reason to believe the child has been harmed,” Olson added.James Arrington, police chief of the neighboring town of Pinckard, said the captor has been sleeping and told negotiators that he has spent long periods in the shelter before.“He will have to give up sooner or later because (authorities) are not leaving,” Arrington said. “It’s pretty small, but he’s been known to stay in there eight days.”Midland City Mayor Virgil Skipper said he has visited the boy’s parents.“He’s crying for his parents,” Skipper said. “They are holding up good. They are praying and asking all of us to pray with them.”Lawmaker Steve Clouse said the boy’s mother told him her child has Asperger’s syndrome, an autism-like disorder, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Police have been delivering medication to him through the pipe, he said.Activity around the bunker picked up early Friday when a team in military-style uniforms, many with weapons, got out of a van and moved into a staging area. One appeared to be dog handler.Dykes was known in the neighborhood as a menacing figure who neighbors said 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 an assault rifle.Arrington confirmed that Dykes held anti-government views, as described by multiple neighbors: “He’s against the government — starting with Obama on down.”“He doesn’t like law enforcement or the government telling him what to do,” the police chief said. “He’s just a loner.”No motive has been discussed by investigators, but the police chief said the FBI had evidence suggesting it could be considered a hate crime. Federal authorities have not released any details about the standoff or the investigation.Dykes had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday to answer charges he shot at his neighbors in a dispute last month. Neighbor Claudia Davis said he yelled and fired shots at her, her son and her baby grandson over damage Dykes claimed their truck did to a makeshift speed bump in the dirt road. No one was hurt.The son, James Davis Jr., believes Tuesday’s shooting was connected to the court date. “I believe he thought I was going to be in court and he was going to get more charges than the menacing, which he deserved, and he had a bunch of stuff to hide and that’s why he did it.”A neighbor directly across the street, Brock Parrish, said Dykes usually wore overalls and glasses, and his posture was hunched-over. He said Dykes lived in a small camping trailer and patrolled his lawn at night, walking from corner to corner with a flashlight and an assault rifle.Court records showed Dykes was arrested in Florida in 1995 for improper exhibition of a weapon, but the misdemeanor was dismissed. The circumstances of the arrest were not detailed in his criminal record. He was also arrested for marijuana possession in 2000.More:The suspect and child, who by all accounts did not know each other, then disappeared into an underground bunker on the man’s property in southeastern Alabama that is said to be equipped with electricity and several weeks’ worth of supplies.The shooting and hostage-taking happened as a national debate rages over gun violence, especially in schools, after a gunman shot dead 20 students and six staff members at a Connecticut elementary school in December.Law enforcement negotiators have continued to communicate with the man identified by neighbors as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes. Officials said they believed the child was unharmed.Michael Senn, a pastor who lives near the private dirt road that runs onto Dykes’ property, told the Dothan Eagle newspaper that authorities had been able to maintain contact with Dykes through some sort of pipe, possibly made of PVC, leading into the bunker.“They’ve been talking to him pretty regularly,” Senn said.Law enforcement officials have offered few details about the standoff and have not officially released the names of the suspect or the child.But homemade signs seen around the town identify the boy as Ethan. A school official said his sixth birthday is next week.Messages such as “Please release Ethan” and “Pray 4 Ethan” were tacked up outside the town hall, where a somber candlelight vigil on Thursday night drew about 100 people.More:Hero: Murdered bus driver Charles Poland Jr, 66, was hailed as a hero for trying to stop the abduction of the children from his school bus. His wife said he loved all of the students he drovePolice are still pleading with the ‘survivalist killer’ who kidnapped a five-year-old boy and has been holding him hostage in an underground bunker for four days as it emerged he may have enough supplies to last for months.Jimmy Lee Dykes is accused of shooting a school bus driver dead and grabbing the kindergartner before escaping to an underground Doomsday bunker which he has been building by hand for months, neighbors said yesterday.Police have settled in to Midland City, Alabama, for the long haul as they continue to negotiate with the ‘survivalist’ and plead with him to let five-year-old Ethan go without harm.Though he is not believed to have hurt Ethan, Dykes has a violent reputation in the quiet town after he allegedly beat his neighbor’s dog to death with a lead pipe and would threaten to shoot any child that would come on to his property.Last night hundreds of people gathered in the city – which has a population of around 2,300 – to say prayers for the boy’s safe return.He is said to be unhurt but crying for his parents.The crowd also honored Charles Poland, who was allegedly killed by Dykes as he tried to prevent the gunman from hurting any children when he stormed the 66-year-old’s bus on Tuesday.It was revealed today the bus driver was planning on giving Dykes a gift of marmalade and yard eggs the same day he was shot dead to thank him for smoothing out the sand and dirt on a part of the road on the bus route.Dykes has previously stayed in the bunker for eight days straight and police believe he has enough supplies stored inside to last him several months.The shelter is about four feet underground, with about six-by-eight feet of floor spacePolice say the kindergartener, whose mother calls him ‘Love Bug,’ is unhurt and is watching TV in the bunker, which has electricity.
He asked for crayons and a coloring book, which Dykes allowed police to pass to him through a four-foot-wide, 60-feet-long PVC pipe that runs into the bunker.Related:http://video.foxnews.com/v/2130194424001/cops-suspected-killer-holding-boy-in-underground-bunker?intcmp=related?playlist_id=921261890001http://video.foxnews.com/v/2132281924001/bus-shooting-suspect-described-as-angry-anti-social?intcmp=related?playlist_id=921261890001http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/31/neighbors-ala-man-suspected-holding-child-in-standoff-say-was-violent/?intcmp=relatedhttp://video.foxnews.com/v/2133594512001/gunman-holds-5-year-old-hostage-in-underground-bunker?intcmp=relatedhttp://video.foxnews.com/v/2132361299001/how-do-police-diffuse-hostage-situation-in-alabama?intcmp=relatedhttp://video.foxnews.com/v/2134603098001/what-can-hostage-negotiators-do-to-free-alabama-boy?intcmp=related
Video:Hostage standoff in Alabama-Mark Furmann discusses situation http://sco.lt/7oAoef
Bus shooting suspect barricaded inside bunker;unclear if 6yro he took from bus is with him
Officials give update on hostage victim’s mother
Hostage Crisis in Midland City Continues
Bus driver remembered as honest, quiet
Clouse: Gunman’s bunker has food, electricity
Child hostage standoff enters third day
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