A school bus driver was shot yesterday when he refused to release a child into the custody of a man who boarded the bus during a routine stop. The man, Jimmy Lee Dykes, then kidnapped a 6-year-old child and has been involved in an overnight standoff with police and the FBI.
The bus driver died of his wounds, reports said, and the assailant was able to escape with one child. Dykes then took the child to a nearby underground shelter and remained there since yesterday afternoon.
"The one child he got a hold of actually fainted," Mike Creel, the suspect's neighbor, told WSFA News. "That was the reason he was able to grab him. And now he is hidden in his homemade bomb shelter."
CNN has reported that the child requires medication that has to be taken daily, which adds to the fears for the child's welfare. Fortunately, authorities were able to provide the medication to his captor, and hopefully the boy will be able to continue taking his medication.
"We will continue to work diligently through the night in an effort to bring closure to this incident as quickly as possible," the Dale County Sheriff's Department said late last night in a statement.
DothanEagle.com first reported the suspect's name and the fact that he has been arrested for "pulling a gun on a man and charged with menacing."
"He's 67 years old, so I figured I could catch him," neighbor Creel told the Dothan Eagle. "Apparently he didn't go through the field like I thought. He's got a four-foot-wide, about six-foot-long, eight-foot-deep bomb shelter. It's got about three to four feet of sand on top of it. If you didn't know it was there, you wouldn't notice it."
The FBI has taken the lead in the case and will continue to negotiate with Dykes, though right now a motive is unknown. The standoff has gone on for over 13 hours now, with no definitive end in sight.