Alabama hostage standoff ends with child safe, gunman dead

Tue Feb 5, 2013 4:37am IST

Law enforcement officials continue to man a command center in the evening near the scene of a shooting and hostage taking that happened five days ago near Midland City, Alabama February 3, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Sears

Law enforcement officials continue to man a command center in the evening near the scene of a shooting and hostage taking that happened five days ago near Midland City, Alabama February 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Phil Sears

Related Topics

REUTERS - A gunman who held a five-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker in rural Alabama for nearly a week was killed on Monday and the child was plucked to safety without injury, law enforcement officials said.

FBI agents entered the bunker to rescue the child after fearing that he was in "imminent danger," said Steve Richardson, special agent in charge in Mobile.

Negotiations with the suspect, identified as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, had deteriorated during the previous 24 hours, Richardson said during a televised news conference.

"Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun," the FBI agent said.

The rescue of the boy came on the seventh day of a standoff in a rural corner of southeast Alabama involving Dykes, a retired trucker and veteran of the war in Vietnam.

The child was being treated at a local hospital, but was physically unharmed, Richardson added.

It was not immediately clear how Dykes died.

Dykes seized the kindergarten student last Tuesday after boarding a school bus near his home and killing its driver with four shots from a 9 mm handgun, local sheriff's department officials said.

A local law enforcement source said a stun or flash grenade was detonated as part of the operation to free the boy, but further details were not immediately released.

The drama near Midland City, Alabama, came amid heightened concerns about gun violence and school safety across the United States after the December shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school.

(Reporting by Tom Brown and Colleen Jenkins; editing by Dan Grebler, G Crosse)

FILED UNDER:

WORLD NEWS

Reuters Showcase

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

Hostage Crisis

Hostage Crisis

Japan, Jordan working closely on fate of captive Japanese journalist  Full Article 

Perth ODI

Perth ODI

India collapse for 200 against England  Full Article 

Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup

Batting holds key for team India in World Cup  Full Article 

Egypt Attack

Egypt Attack

Islamic State's Egypt wing claims attacks that killed 27 - official Twitter.  Full Article 

Afghanistan Violence

Afghanistan Violence

Three U.S. contractors killed in "insider attack" in Afghan capital.  Full Article 

Change Of Heart

Change Of Heart

Justin Bieber says dropping 'arrogant' and 'conceited' attitude  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage