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.”

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)

ID: 849636

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.)


[source 1, 2]

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

ID: 850329

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



ID: 850310

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.”



ID: 849479

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
ID: 849485

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
ID: 850311

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.


[source 1, 2, 3]

ID: 850313

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

ID: 849484

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.”


[source 1, 2]

ID: 850312

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Jessica Testa at jessica.testa@buzzfeed.com.

More News

More News

Now Buzzing