Alabama Bunker Hostage Standoff Update

We’re following updates on the standoff in Alabama involving a gunman who held a 5-year-old boy hostage inside his bunker for more than 48 hours now. The hostage taker is accused of shooting a school bus driver Tuesday.

Reports said the suspect, identified by his neighbors as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, instructed the driver to let a student off the school bus. Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, tried to protect 20 children aboard and refused Dykes’ demand. The suspect shot the driver several times then grabbed a student in random before leaving the crime scene.

Authorities have not officially released the names of the gunman and the hostage victim.

Reuters reports there was word that the hostage-taker equipped his bunker with electricity, a television set and two to three weeks’ worth of food and other supplies.

According to people familiar with Dykes, the suspect began digging the bunker a few years ago. He was reportedly often seen carrying a gun and was “aggressive toward people and animals.”

As negotiation continues, reports said schools near the area where the standoff is taking place in Midland City remain closed for the rest of the week.

Note: This is a developing story. This post will be updated as new information becomes available.