Ethan, the 5-year-old boy who was taken hostage by Vietnam Veteran Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, nearly a week ago, is currently recovering in a local Midland City, Ala. hospital. He has been reunited with his mother and said to be doing just fine.
ABC News has exclusively obtained several pictures of young Ethan who will celebrating his 6th birthday on Wednesday.
More details have emerged on how Dykes was taken down by FBI officials. After Dykes fatally shot Ethan’s bus driver, Albert Poland Jr., 66, last week and abducted the youngster, holding him captive in an underground bunker for nearly a week, tactical teams quickly built a staging area. The makeshift shed located alongside Dykes bunker is where tactical teams rehearsed and practiced different rescue missions, acting out different scenarios depending on how they felt the situation may have turned out.
It is believed that SWAT teams, along with an FBI hostage tactical units, used explosives to enter the bunker and threw in stun grenades, which are non-lethal contained explosives designed to leave a person in state of shock for about 5-seconds. The sound from the grenade renders a persons senses frozen as it disturbs the fluid in the ear. The seconds delay gave rescuers time they needed to enter the bunker and shoot Dykes.
The mission was carried out after the FBI say that negotiations with Dykes deteriorated on Monday and they felt that Ethan was in imminent danger after spy cameras captured Dykes holding a gun.
While Ethan has been reported in good condition, laughing, playing and eating with his mother, it has now been revealed that Ethan’s mother asked the police early on not to kill Dykes. State Sen. Harri Anne Smith explained that Ethan’s mother put her hand on a police officer’s heart and said, ‘Sir, don’t hurt him. He’s sick.’
Federal and state officials are still processing Dykes property as a crime scene and going over it meticulously to make sure Dykes did not leave any booby traps or explosives.
Dykes was described by neighbors as violent and volatile. Dykes reportedly beat a neighborhood dog to death with a lead pipe after the dog came within feet of Dykes property. Dykes was known to threaten neighbors and their children with death if they came on his property.