- The gunman who held a 5-year-old child hostage in an underground bunker in a rural area of Alabama was killed on Monday and the child was removed safely and without injury, said a local police officer. Photo: AP
- 'It's over,' said an officer, who asked not to be identified by name because he was not authorized to discuss the operation that led to the successful rescue of the child. Photo: AP
- A police source said a grenade was detonated of light or stun as part of the operation to free the child, but no other details were immediately available. Photo: AP
- 'The child is fine,' he said. The rescue of the child occurred on the seventh day of a hostage situation in the rural southeast Alabama by a suspect identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, a retired truck driver and Vietnam veteran. Photo: AP
- The authorities had identified the kidnapped child as Ethan, who has Asperger syndrome and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity. Photo: AP
- There are reports that during the period of sequestration, Jimmy Lee Dykes did not physically hurt Ethan, and even local police thanked him for allowing the boy to receive his medication, coloring books and toys. Photo: AP
- Dykes captured the boy on Tuesday after boarding a school bus near his home and killing the driver with four shots from a 9mm weapon, officials from the local sheriff's department said. Photo: AP
Police identified the victim as Charles Albert Poland, Jr., 66, who was a bus driver fror the Boad of Education since 2009.
Wally Olsen, police chief of Dale County, said that Dykes shot the driver when he refused to let him take the 6-year-old child. Dykes then left Pollard to die from his gunshot wounds.
- Donny Bynum, superintendent of County Public Schools, said Poland was a hero who gave his life to protect 21 students. 'Emotions are very strong ... but we must pray and think about this student, his family and the family of Mr. Poland.' Photo: AP
- Mourners attending the funeral of Poland on Sunday also qualified him as a hero for seeking to protect the children, who watched with horror as he was killed. Photo: AP
- Some 50 federal, state and local vehicles surrounding the entrance to a dirt road near a federal road. The route ends in rustic dwellings including Dykes' property, which is on a hill not far behind a church high on the federal highway Photo: AP
- The county coroner, Woodrow Hilboldt, was one of the first sources who said that Dykes was in a bunker on his property: 'What I have described as an underground bunker. A place to protect against tornadoes.' Photo: AP
- Court documents show that Dykes, 65, was due in court on Wednesday morning, Jan. 23, to face a charge of threatening to some neighbors as they passed by his house last month. Photo: AP
- They said they shouted and fired several shots for damages they say Dykes caused with an improvised barrier against speed on a rustic road and was considered provoked by his neighbors' trucks. Photo: AP
- They also noted that the 'sullen' Dykes moved to Midland City area two years ago and was often seen patrolling the property where he lived armed with a gun and a flashlight at night. Photo: AP
- Other court documents show that Dykes was arrested Dec. 22 on a charge of uttering threats. He was released on bail. Photo: AP
- The drama in Midland City, Alabama, comes amid renewed concerns about gun violence and school safety in the United States after a shootout in December that left 20 children and six adults killed in an elementary school in Connecticut. Photo: AP
- Most area schools were closed on Monday, despite previous statements that they would reopen their doors. Photo: AFP
- All Dale County Schools will be open on Tuesday, Donny Bynum, superintendent of the region said. The system includes the Midland City Elementary School, where Ethan attends kindergarten. (Source: Reuters) Photo: AFP
The gunman who held a 5-year-old child hostage in an underground bunker in a rural area of Alabama was killed on Monday and the child was removed safely and without injury, said a local police officer.