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Entries in Jimmy Lee Dykes (4)

Wednesday
Feb062013

Alabama Hostage Taker Planted Bombs in Bunker, FBI Says

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images(MIDLAND CITY, Ala.) -- Jimmy Lee Dykes, the man who held a young boy hostage for nearly a week in an underground bunker in Alabama, had two homemade explosive devices on his property and engaged in a firefight with SWAT agents before they stormed the bunker and killed him, according to the FBI.

One explosive device was found inside the bunker and another was located in the PVC pipe negotiators used to communicate with Dykes, the FBI said Tuesday night.  Both devices were "disrupted," according to the FBI.  The search for hazards is expected to continue through Wednesday.

Preliminary investigation reports indicate that Dykes engaged in a firefight with the SWAT agents who made entry on Monday, according to the FBI.

Officials were able to insert a high-tech camera into the 6-by-8-foot bunker to monitor Dykes' movements, and they became increasingly concerned that he might act out, a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the case told ABC News on Monday.

FBI special agents were positioned near the entrance of the bunker and negotiators were able to convince Dykes to approach the bunker door.  FBI agents used two explosions to gain entry into the bunker.  It also appears that Dykes reinforced the bunker against any attempted entry by law enforcement, according to the FBI.

ABC News has learned that Dykes first opened fired on the agents during the bunker raid. Moments later, the agents returned fire, killing Dykes.

The shooting review team continues to gather facts regarding the incident, the FBI said.

The boy, only identified as Ethan, was rescued from the scene by a waiting ambulance.  The bunker raid came six days after Dykes boarded a school bus, fatally shot the driver and abducted the boy, who suffered no physical injuries.

Meanwhile, Ethan is set to celebrate his sixth birthday on Wednesday, happily reunited with his family.

Ethan's relatives told ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday that he seemed "normal as a child could be" after what he went through and has been happily playing with his toy dinosaur.

"He's happy to be home," Ethan's great uncle Berlin Enfinger told GMA.  "He's very excited and he looks good."

In a statement released by the FBI on Tuesday, Ethan's mother said, "For the first time in almost a week, I woke up this morning to the most beautiful sight...my sweet boy. I can't describe how incredible it is to hold him again."

Ethan is "running around the hospital room, putting sticky notes on everyone that was in there, eating a turkey sandwich and watching SpongeBob," Dale County Schools Superintendent Donny Bynum said at a news conference on Tuesday.

When asked about a birthday party for Ethan, Bynum said, "We are still in the planning stages.  Our time frame is that we are waiting for Ethan, waiting on that process, but we are going to have it at a school facility, most likely the football stadium at Dale County High School."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb042013

Alabama Hostage Standoff: Suspect Threatened to Kill All Kids on Bus

iStockphoto/Thinkstock (file photo)(MIDLAND CITY, Ala.) -- Jimmy Lee Dykes, the retired Alabama trucker who allegedly shot a school bus driver last week and has held a 5-year-old boy hostage in his underground bunker for seven days, had threatened to kill all the children on the bus before taking the boy, one of the students on the bus said.

"He said he was going to kill us, going to kill us all," Tarrica Singletary, 14, told ABC News.

"The bus driver kept saying, 'Just please get off the bus,' and [Dykes] said, 'Ah, all right, I'll get off the bus," Tarrica said.  "He just tried to back up and reverse and [Dykes] pulled out the gun and he just shot him, and he just took Ethan."

Drones are flying over the homemade underground bunker Monday morning near Midland City, Ala., where police say Dykes is holding Ethan hostage.  Officials have not released the boy's last name.

Despite days of negotiations, police say they have little to go on.  Dykes, 65, has made few demands, and they still have no motive for his actions, or any sense of when the standoff might end.

Negotiators have been communicating with Dykes through a ventilation pipe that leads to the bunker, and have used it to send the child comfort items, including a red Hot Wheels car, coloring books, cheese crackers, potato chips and medicine.

At a news conference this weekend, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson surprised many when he thanked Dykes.

"I want to thank him for taking care of our child, that is very important," Olson said on Saturday.

On Sunday, the tight-knit Midland City community buried bus driver Chuck Poland, who died protecting the children from Dykes.  Hundreds came out to the funeral as they prayed for Ethan.

Cindy Steiner, who lives next door to Ethan, said his mother is worried and just wants her "loving little boy" home safe.

"Because Ethan being autistic, he has behavior problems, and she doesn't want him to get in one of those moods where he's uncontrollable," Steiner told ABC News.  "She's scared what would happen."

Steiner said she had a message for Ethan.

"Hang tough, little man," she said.  "We love you.  We are praying for you."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb032013

Alabama Hostage Standoff Enters Sixth Day, Boy Being Made 'As Comfortable As Possible'

ABC News(Midland City, Ala.) -- A retired Alabama truck driver is making his 5-year-old hostage "as comfortable as possible" in an underground bunker, authorities said, as they enter the sixth day of negotiations.

Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, has allowed negotiators to send medicine for the boy, who has only been identified by his first name, Ethan.

Other comfort items, including potato chips, coloring books and toys, have been sent into the bunker for Ethan through a ventilation pipe that leads into the 6-by-8-foot subterranean hideout four feet underground.

"I want to thank him for taking care of our child, that is very important," Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said at a news conference on Saturday.

The incident began on Tuesday when Dykes boarded a school bus and demanded two boys between 6 and 8 years old. Bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, was shot dead when he tried to block Dykes, who then abducted 5-year-old Ethan.

"The bus driver kept saying, 'Just please get off the bus,' and [Dykes] said, 'Ah, all right, I'll get off the bus," said witness Terrica Singletary, 14. "He just tried to back up and reverse and [Dykes] pulled out the gun and he just shot him, and he just took Ethan."

Neighbors told ABCNews.com that Dykes has been known to retreat underground for up to eight days.

Cindy Steiner, who lives next door to the 5-year-old boy, Ethan, said his mother is worried and just wants her "loving little boy" home safe.

"Because Ethan being autistic, he has behavior problems, and she doesn't want him to get in one of those moods where he's uncontrollable," Steiner told ABC News. "She's scared what would happen."

While the community is praying for a peaceful resolution, Steiner said she had a message for 5-year-old Ethan.

"Hang tough, little man," she said. "We love you. We are praying for you."

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb022013

Alabama Standoff: Students Say Hostage Suspect Jimmy Lee Dykes Threatened to Kill

ABCNews.com(MIDLAND CITY, Ala.) -- A brother and sister who escaped the school bus where a 5-year-old autistic boy was taken hostage by a retired Alabama trucker are speaking out about the standoff and the man who threatened the lives of the children on board.

"I look up and he's talking about threatening to kill us all or something," 14-year-old Terrica Singletary told ABC's Good Morning America. "He's like, 'I'll kill all y'all, I'll kill y'all, I just want two kids.'"

Singletary and her brother, Tristian, 12, said Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded the bus on Tuesday and offered the driver what appeared to be broccoli and a note, before demanding two children.

"The bus driver kept saying, 'Just please get off the bus,' and [Dykes] said, 'Ah alright, I'll get off the bus," said Terrica Singletary, "He just tried to back up and reverse and [Dykes] pulled out the gun and he just shot him, and he just took Ethan."

School bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, was fatally shot several times by Dykes.

The siblings and the rest of the students on board were able to get away unharmed, but were shocked by what had transpired on Tuesday afternoon.

"I never thought I would have to go through a shootout," Singletary said.

They said they had seen Dykes, 65, working on his fence, and described him as a menacing figure.

"He was very protective of his stuff," Tristian Singletary said. "Whenever he stares at you, he looks kinda crazy."

Dykes has been holed up in his underground bunker with his 5-year-old hostage named Ethan near Midland City, Ala. for five days now. Neighbors told ABCNews.com that Dykes has been known to retreat underground for up to eight days.

While Dykes, who was described as having "no regard for human life," has allowed negotiators to send Ethan's medicine, as well as coloring books, into the bunker for the boy through a ventilation pipe that leads into the 6 by 8 foot subterranean hideout 4 feet underground, authorities are staying quiet about their conversations with Dykes.

Meanwhile, his peers are steadfast that he will return home soon.

"Ethan will make it out there, Ethan will make it out there," said Tristian Singletary.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio