Radio Sandwell News

Alabama police kill kidnapper and save boy

2013-02-05 01:00:08

Jimmy Lee Dykes

Police in the US state of Alabama have killed a hostage-taker after a six-day standoff, saving the five-year-old boy he abducted.

FBI agent Steve Richardson told a news conference police shot Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, after negotiations deteriorated.

He had been keeping the boy, Ethan, in a storm shelter since last Tuesday after abducting him from a school bus and shooting dead the driver.

The 66-year-old bus driver's funeral was held on Sunday.

An ambulance was seen driving away, without sirens or emergency lights.

Daryle Hendry, who lives about a quarter of a mile from the bunker, told the Associated Press he heard a boom followed by a gunshot this afternoon.

The incident began in Midland City on Tuesday afternoon when the bus driver refused to hand over the child, whom Mr Dykes apparently snatched at random.

According to witnesses, the kidnapper pounced when the school bus stopped to let off two children.

Mr Dykes grabbed the door so it could not close and came on board, demanding two boys aged six and eight.

When the bus driver, Charles Albert Poland, blocked the bus aisle with his arm, witnesses said Mr Dykes fired four shots, killing him.

During the six-day standoff, officials talked to Mr Dykes and delivered medication to the boy through a 4in (10cm) ventilation pipe.

According to court records, Mr Dykes had been due to appear in court last Wednesday for menacing neighbours as they drove past his home some weeks ago.

Other neighbours said he had once beaten 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 a firearm.

Court records showed Mr Dykes was arrested in Florida in 1995 for improper exhibition of a weapon, but the charges were dismissed.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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