Ala. Gunman Kills Bus Driver, Kidnaps 6-Year-Old Boy

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — DEVELOPING STORY — A gunman boarded a stopped school bus and shot the driver, fleeing with a 6-year-old male passenger on Tuesday.  The driver died of multiple gunshots.

Neighbors of the suspect identified him as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65,  a Vietnam veteran and survivalist with ties to the anti-government movement.

After leaving the scene of the shooting, he and the kidnapped boy hunkered down in an underground bunker on the suspect’s remote property. Police, SWAT teams and negotiators have surrounded the property and are in a standoff. They are negotiating with Dykes through a PVC pipe that leads to the underground bomb shelter, reports WSFA. FBI officials, as well as the U.S. Marshal’s Office, are also on the scene assisting local sheriffs and police agencies, reports

Dykes was scheduled to appear today to face charges of menacing neighbors as they drove by his house.

Fox News is reporting that the shooter boarded the bus and told the driver that he needed two kids “between the ages of 6 and 8.” The driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, was shot and killed after refusing to give over the students.

This was the second time in less than a week a gunman has tried to board a school bus. On Jan. 23, a person in Kansas City, Mo., who was denied a ride on a school bus fired shots at it as it pulled away.

It appears as though the kindergartener who was abducted was not specifically targeted, reports the Associated Press. Dykes just wanted to use the child as a hostage.

Schools in the area have been closed and will remain closed for the rest of the week.

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