Midland City Residents React To Child's Rescue


By Ashley Thompson

After a hostage standoff that lasted seven days finally comes to an end, the small town of Midland City tries to move forward.

People in Midland City are still coming to terms with the fact that the standoff is over but the mood here seems to be that of relief.

14-year-old Terrica Singletary was on the school bus when Jimmy Lee Dykes took a 5-year-old child hostage. She says Dykes stormed the bus demanding children come with him.

"He has a pistol in his hands and he's threatening and he wants two kids- six through eight," she explains.

She says at first, many students on the bus weren't even sure if Dykes was being serious.

"Everybody thought it was an act but when we saw him get shot and not come up, then we were scared to death," she says.

After seven days of being held captive in an underground bunker, the chid was rescued and is now being treated at a hospital in Dothan. Senator Harri-Anne Smith says everyone in Midland City is breathing a sigh of relief.

"It's just overwhelming. What a great job law enforcement has done in this situation and very, very grateful that little Ethan has been reunited with his family tonight," she says.

But although the town can now rejoice the child's safety, there are still many mourning the loss of bus driver Charles Poland.

"I mean, people just feel like a burden has been lifted off our shoulders and Ethan is safe but at the same time there's some mixed feelings because we still have the slain bus driver who's family is devastated," says Representative Steve Clouse.

Some Midland City residents say it'll be hard to move forward after the death of Poland, who many are calling a hero.

"There's going to be a hole in the community but yet there's going to be excitement also the next few days because this young boy has made it home," says Pastor Michael Senn of Midway Assembly of God.

Authorities tell us that although the hostage situation has been resolved, an investigation is ongoing regarding the matter. They are not yet releasing details of how the child was rescued. We're told the child, who's first name has been confirmed 'Ethan,' is laughing, playing, and eating in the hospital.

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