Hostage Situation Continues in Midland City, Alabama - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Hostage Situation Continues in Midland City, Alabama

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A tense hostage situation continues into Wednesday night in South Alabama. Police confirm a man is still holding a young child hostage. The suspect, according to law enforcement, shot and killed the boy's school bus driver yesterday and took off with him.

Mike Smith described how his two children were on the school bus Tuesday afternoon when a man came on and demanded a child before fatally shooting the bus driver.

"My daughter started getting the kids towards the back of the bus away from it. [The suspect] reached across the seat and grabbed one of the little kids, and as he tried to reach, the bus driver put his arm and grab the seat across the isle. That's when he opened fire," says Smith.  

The suspect, police sources identify as Jimmy Lee Dykes, took a young child hostage, according to ABC News holding him in an underground bunker in Midland City, Alabama.

"I saw a report about him being out digging at 2:30AM the night before. That's nothing. That's what he does, and that's why he's so scary and creepy," says neighbor Ronda Wilbur.

Neighbors describe the suspect as anti-government and just a cold individual.

"We all referred to him as the mean man. I told my granddaughter when she was over, "No we're not going outside today because the mean man is out," says Wilbur.

More than 24 hours after the kidnapping, the hostage situation is still on going, bringing in SWAT Team members and the FBI. Fortunately, the Dale County Sheriff's Office says they believe the young child is not hurt.

"At this time details of the situation are limited," says Sheriff Wally Olson. "But I can assure you that negotiators continue to communicate with the suspect. At this time, we have no reason to believe that the child has been harmed."

While area schools remain closed for the rest of the week, going back, is a terrifying thought for those involved.

"My 13 year old son, who was also on the bus, told us in the church parking lot that he was never riding a bus again," says Smith.

Those who live in the area have been evacuated for safety precautions.