MIDLAND CITY, Ala. - More than three days after he allegedly shot dead a school bus driver, grabbed a 5-year-old child and slipped into an underground bunker in the rural U.S., Jimmy Lee Dykes was showing no signs Friday of turning himself over to police.
Hostage negotiators spoke into a narrow ventilation pipe leading into the bunker, trying to talk the 65-year-old, said to hold anti-government views, into freeing the boy. One local official said the child had been crying for his parents.
Dykes, described by neighbors as threatening and violent, is accused of pulling the boy at random from the bus Tuesday and killing the driver who tried to protect the 21 children aboard. The gunman and the boy were holed up in a small underground room on his property that authorities likened to a tornado shelter, not uncommon in the rural South.
A state lawmaker said the shelter has electricity, food and TV, and there were signs that the standoff along a dirt road could continue for some time.
"The three past days have not been easy on anybody," Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said late Thursday. He said authorities' primary goal was to get the boy home safely.
"There's no reason to believe the child has been harmed," Olson added.
James Arrington, police chief of the neighboring town of Pinckard, said the captor has been sleeping and told negotiators that he has spent long periods in the shelter before.
Midland City Mayor Virgil Skipper said he has visited the boy's parents.
"He's crying for his parents," Skipper said. "They are holding up good. They are praying and asking all of us to pray with them."
For the full story: