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Alabama Hostage Crisis Drags On; Negotiations Continue


Students and family leave the scene of the school bus shooting in which a gunman shot and killed the driver, then took a child hostage. (AP)

The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From GMA:

An Alabama community is on edge today, praying for a 5-year-old boy being held hostage by a retired man who police say abducted him at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon.

Nearly 40 hours have slowly passed since school bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, heroically tried to prevent the kidnapping, but was shot to death by suspect Jimmy Lee Dykes, a former truck driver, police said.

Dykes boarded the bus Tuesday and said he wanted two boys, 6 to 8 years old. As the children piled to the back of the bus, Dykes, 65, allegedly shot Poland four times, then grabbed the child at random and fled, The Associated Press reported.

The primary concern in the community near Midland City, Ala., is now for the boy's safety. Dale County police have not identified the child.

"I believe in prayer, so I just pray that we can resolve this peacefully," Dale County sheriff Wally Olson said.

The boy is being held in a bunker about 8 feet below ground, where police say Dykes likely has enough food and supplies to remain underground for weeks. Dykes has been communicating with police through a pipe extending from the bunker to the surface.

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