Huffpost Crime

Jimmy Lee Dykes Accused Of Killing Alabama Bus Driver, Taking 6-Year-Old Hostage

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File/Getty Images
File/Getty Images

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. -- Neighbors of an Alabama man accused of killing a school bus driver and taking a child hostage in an ongoing standoff say he was paranoid and combative.

The standoff went through the night after the gunman boarded a stopped school bus in the small town of Midland City on Tuesday afternoon.

Neighbors say the suspect is Jimmy Lee Dykes. Mike Smith, who lives across the street, said Wednesday that Dykes once threatened to shoot his children when the family's dogs entered his property.

The Smiths said their daughter and son were on the bus and the gunman opened fire after the driver tried to stop him from walking into the aisle to grab two children. The gunman fled with one.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Police, SWAT teams and negotiators were at a rural property where a man was believed to be holed up in a homemade bunker Wednesday after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old child passenger, authorities said.

The man boarded the stopped school bus in the town of Midland City on Tuesday afternoon and shot the driver when he refused to let the child off the bus, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen told WBMA-TV (http://bit.ly/WthpQh). The driver later died of his wounds. His identity wasn't released.

The shooter took the child, authorities said.

County coroner Woodrow Hilboldt told The Associated Press the overnight standoff continued early Wednesday with tactical units, negotiators and other officers at the scene near a church. He said the suspect was believed to be in an underground shelter on his property.

"That's what has been described to me as an underground bunker. Someplace to get out of the way of a tornado," Hilboldt said.

The coroner said the victim, who was in his mid-60s, died of multiple gunshot wounds. He wouldn't release a name until family had been notified.

Midland City police would not comment, and a dispatcher at the Dale City Sheriff's office told The Associated Press early Wednesday that the agency was not releasing any immediate details.

Authorities from multiple agencies were on the scene and nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure, said Rachel David, a spokeswoman for the police department in the nearby town of Dothan.

"Authorities also confirmed the presence of a child at the scene but are giving no further information at this time," David said in a news release late Tuesday.

Michael Creel, who lives on the road where the shooting happened, said he went outside after his sister heard gunshots.

"Me and her started running down the road," Creel told the Dothan Eagle (http://bit.ly/TWgc5T). "That's when I realized the bus had its siren going off. Kids were filing out, running down the hill toward the church."

The shooter took the child, authorities said.

County coroner Woodrow Hilboldt told The Associated Press the overnight standoff continued early Wednesday with tactical units, negotiators and other officers at the scene near a church. He said the suspect was believed to be in an underground shelter on his property.

"That's what has been described to me as an underground bunker. Someplace to get out of the way of a tornado," Hilboldt said.

The coroner said the victim, who was in his mid-60s, died of multiple gunshot wounds. He wouldn't release a name until family had been notified.

Midland City police would not comment, and a dispatcher at the Dale City Sheriff's office told The Associated Press early Wednesday that the agency was not releasing any immediate details.

Authorities from multiple agencies were on the scene and nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure, said Rachel David, a spokeswoman for the police department in the nearby town of Dothan.

"Authorities also confirmed the presence of a child at the scene but are giving no further information at this time," David said in a news release late Tuesday.

Michael Creel, who lives on the road where the shooting happened, said he went outside after his sister heard gunshots.

"Me and her started running down the road," Creel told the Dothan Eagle (http://bit.ly/TWgc5T). "That's when I realized the bus had its siren going off. Kids were filing out, running down the hill toward the church."