Everything You Need To Know About The Alabama Bunker Hostage Crisis

It’s now been two days since an “anti-government” Vietnam veteran barricaded himself and the child. The family “hold[s] on by a thread.” posted on

1. The crisis began Tuesday afternoon in Midland City — population 2,300 — when a man believed to be Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, boarded a school bus, shot the driver and took off with a child.

(Danny Tindell/Dothan Eagle)

2. Dykes’ motive is still unclear, though on Wednesday, he missed a court hearing for a misdemeanor charge of menacing, which he was arrested for on Dec. 22. (He spent four days in jail.)

PHILIP SEARS / Reuters

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Pictured: Destiny Church, the scene of a shooting and hostage taking.

3. Michael Senn, a pastor who comforted the children on the bus, told reporters Dykes “just wanted a child for a hostage situation.”

PHILIP SEARS / Reuters

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4. Charles Albert Poland, the 66-year-old bus driver, died. Dykes reportedly shot him four times after he refused to hand over the bus of 21 children. Local officials have called Poland “a hero.”

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5. After kidnapping the child, Dykes fled to a bunker equipped with power, food and television, located near the trailer he lived in.

Phil Sears / Reuters

6. Authorities on the scene began communicating with Dykes via a pipe in the ground. They also believed they found a bomb on the property and evacuated neighbors.

Mickey Welsh / AP

7. “He’s not right in the head,” one neighbor said. He once beat another neighbor’s dog to death with a lead pipe. He walks around at night with a flashlight and a shotgun. He’s a Vietnam veteran who has PTSD and doesn’t trust the government.

PHILIP SEARS / Reuters

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8. Police have said they have no reason to believe Dykes has hurt the child, but the standoff continues.

PHILIP SEARS / Reuters

9. The boy — reportedly named Ethan — was given medicine he needed, a box of crayons and a coloring book. But state representatives who spoke to Ethan’s parents say they are “holding on by a thread.”

JAY HARE / AP

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