Hostage Standoff in Dale County Stretches into Third Day


By Brittany Bivins

The hostage standoff in Midland City continues, after police say man shot and killed a bus driver and abducted a 5-year-old boy. Officials say the man has been hiding the child in an underground bunker for more than 48 hours.

Neighbors say they've seen the bunker, where the 5-year-old is being held. They say it's about 15 feet wide and 10 feet deep with television and electricity.

James Davis lives just up the road from the bunker. He identifies the property owner as Jimmy Lee Dykes. Davis says he had a violent confrontation with Dykes in December.
"My truck had spun out on a hill that he had built and I stopped. He flagged me down and began cussing, using harsh words. I began trying to calm him down, telling him my 6-month-old daughter was in the back. Mr. Dykes kept on, kept on, and when I raised my voice, Mr. Dykes took off running," said Davis.

He says that's when Dykes pulled out a weapon and shot at his truck. "After the time that he did that, I locked my doors every night. My daughter, I always kept her in safe hands, I never left her in the house alone," he said.

The mayor of Midland City, Virgil Skipper, says he met with the child's family Wednesday afternoon. He said they're doing "well," but he doesn't know whether they've been able to speak with their child. "They're praying and they're asking all of us to pray with them," said Skipper.

Law enforcement officials have not been releasing new information on the status of the negotiations with the shooter.


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