No change this morning as the Midland City hostage situation enters its 40th hour
MIDLAND CITY, Alabama –Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said Thursday morning there is no change in Midland City, where a man remains holed up in an underground bunker with a young child he snatched from a school bus Tuesday.
The child is believed unharmed and inside the bunker with Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, Olson said. Dykes is accused of shooting and killing a school bus driver, who thwarted an attempt to take two children from the bus, and snatching the boy.
An army of officers from local, state, and federal agencies is on the scene, where negotiations have entered their 40th hour.
Midland City community members gathered for two vigils on Wednesday evening to remember the school bus driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., who was 66 when Dykes allegedly shot him. Poland is said to have refused Dykes’ request for two children before Dykes shot him up to four times.
He was remembered as a Godly man and a hero by his community.
The child, whose name is not being released, is autistic, according to law enforcement sources. He requires medication, which Dykes has allowed to be delivered through a PVC pipe. Officials are also using the pipe to communicate with Dykes.
According to an Alabama state representative who has spoken to authorities and the family, the underground bunker has electricity and the child is watching TV, AP reports. The child also asked for, and received, crayons and a coloring book, according to WSFA.
Negotiations with the hostage-taker continue Thursday morning.
For the latest on the situation in Midland City, check this page.