A little boy being held hostage in an Alabama bunker has toys, books and medication, police said today, as the saga stretched into Day 5.
Police said 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, a retired trucker and Navy veteran from the Vietnam War, took the boy hostage Tuesday after shooting and killing the boy’s school bus driver.
Dykes reportedly has the 5-year-old autistic boy inside an underground bunker in Midland City.
Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson also told reporters that Dykes has an electric heater and blankets.
“I want to thank him for taking care of our boy,” Olson said, according to NBC News. “That’s very important.”
Police said they’re in contact with Dykes through a ventilation tube that extends above ground.
He hasn’t made any demands, and police said they’re still trying to convince him to surrender, The Associated Press said.
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The standoff started when Dykes boarded a school bus, handed the driver a note and demanded two children.
Students on the bus said Dykes handed the driver what appeared to be broccoli, according to ABC News.
“I look up and he’s talking about threatening to kill us all or something,” said Terrica Singletary, 14. “He’s like, ‘I’ll kill all y’all; I’ll kill y’all. I just want two kids.’”
The driver, 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland, Jr., was killed trying to stop Dykes from taking any of the kids.
Neighbors know Dykes as an aloof figure that’s caused trouble in the past, Reuters reported.
Ronda Wilbur told reporters that Dykes was a “mean man” who killed one of her dogs with a lead pipe.
“I had always figured he was more or less a wacko survivalist, but it’s obvious that this had been very well thought out and arranged,” she said, according to Reuters.