Long Hostage Drama Over in Midland City, Alabama

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Long Hostage Drama Over In Midland City, Alabama

The FBI says it will conduct a review of events leading up to the death of a South Alabama man who held a young boy hostage for nearly a week. Law enforcement officers stormed Jimmy Lee Dykes’ underground bunker in rural Midland City yesterday afternoon. They freed the five-year-old hostage, a boy identified as Ethan, and sources say they killed Dykes because they were convinced the child was in imminent danger. Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said last night that Dykes was armed when officers entered the bunker to rescue Ethan.

Before yesterday’s action, authorities spent nearly a week negotiating with Dykes to release Ethan. Dykes had grabbed the boy after storming onto a school bus and shooting the driver to death. Dykes then barricaded himself in an underground bunker he’d dug on his property. Grief and the slow pace of negotiations with the suspect frayed nerves in the close-knit, rural community, as WBHM’s Dan Carsen reported for NPR’s “Morning Edition” the weekend before the standoff ended.

He also was interviewed that afternoon by “All Things Considered,” and by WBUR-Boston’s “Here and Now” today.