Alabama Hostage Siege Ends As Boy Saved

February 5th, 20135:32 am @


A boy who was held hostage for a week is safe and his captor is dead after FBI agents stormed an underground bunker in Alabama.

Officials said the raid went ahead after negotiations with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes deteriorated and he was seen with a gun.

Fearing the child was in imminent danger, agents entered the bunker to rescue the five-year-old. It was not immediately clear how Dykes died.

Officials break the news to gathered media

The boy was taken to hospital nearby. Officials have said the child has Asperger’s syndrome.

Dykes had been accused of snatching the boy from a school bus last week after killing the driver, Charles Poland.

Before the news conference, an ambulance that had been parked near the scene could be seen driving away. However, it was not clear if anyone was inside, and the vehicle did not have its sirens or emergency lights on.

Daryle Hendry, who lives about a quarter-mile from where Dykes was holed up, said he heard a boom followed by a gunshot.

Officials had been sending food and medicine to Dykes and the boy in the bunker.

The scene of the hostage drama

Neighbours described Dykes as a man who once beat 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.

Government records and interviews with neighbours indicate that Dykes joined the Navy, serving on active duty from 1964 to 1969. His record shows several awards, including the Vietnam Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

He had some scrapes with the law in Florida, including a 1995 arrest for improper exhibition of a weapon. The misdemeanour was dismissed. He also was arrested for marijuana possession in 2000.

He returned to Alabama about two years ago, moving onto the rural tract about 100 yards from his nearest neighbours.

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