A man by the name of Jimmy Lee Dykes, 67, is holding a 6-year-old hostage in a church in Midland, Ala. leaving SWAT teams and police to try to figure out how to ensure the youngster’s safety.
Police say Dykes kidnapped the child from a school bus on Tuesday after boarding a bus driven by bus driver Charles Albert Portland Jr., 66, and fatally shooting him. Police say Portland was shot after he refused to comply with Dyke’s demands to hand over some of the school children.
A child witness told police that Dykes demanded that Portland hand over two children to him, demanding those children be of the ages 6 and 8. Dykes then fled with one 6-year-old unidentified child after he shot the bus driver. The young victim has been held hostage in a nearby church since around 3:30 P.M. CST yesterday.
Some reports suggest that Dykes did allow police to throw some medicine for the child, but it is not known if the victim has a medical condition.
According to Fox News, Dykes was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday on menacing charges after he allegedly harassing neighbors because he believed their truck was damaging his “make-shift” speed bump he built in the road.
So far, federal officials and hostage diffusion teams have surrounded the church but are being tight lipped about specifics on how the negotiations are going. Officials say they’ve been in contact with the hostage taker and the young child, who appears to be currently unharmed, but police warn that the situation is very “delicate.”
It is not known if Dykes knew the child or what his motive is.