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Alabama gunman who took schoolboy hostage is shot

An FBI official stands at a roadblock near Destiny Church, the scene of a shooting and hostage taking, in Midland City, Alabama. Picture: Reuters

An FBI official stands at a roadblock near Destiny Church, the scene of a shooting and hostage taking, in Midland City, Alabama. Picture: Reuters

A five-year-old boy has been rescued from a bunker after being held for close to a week by a gunman who kidnapped him from a schoolbus,

After negotiations with his abductor fell apart, officers stormed an underground bunker in Alabama where a 5-year-old boy had been held hostage for nearly a week, rescuing the child and leaving the boy’s captor dead.

The FBI’s Steve Richardson said that negotiations had deteriorated with 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes.

Dykes, who a week earlier had abducted the child from a school bus after fatally shooting the driver, had been seen with a gun. Officers believed the boy was in imminent danger, Richardson said.

Officers stormed the bunker to rescue the child, who was taken to a hospital in nearby Dothan. Officials have said the child has Asperger’s syndrome.

Daryle Hendry, who lives close to where Dykes’ bunker was located, said he heard a boom Monday afternoon, followed by what sounded like a gunshot, all around the time officials said they stormed the bunker.

Neighbors described Dykes as a man who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property, and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a firearm.

 

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