Jonathan Serrie reports from Fox News on the scene in Alabama: from law enforcement source – boy has been released from the bunker. Jimmy Lee Dykes, the hostage taker is allegedly dead. Serrie said a boom was heard. These are just initial reports. Standby. Updates as available.
Earlier this afternoon, the media heard “some sort of a boom.” Vehicles were moving up the hill. Today was the 7th day for this child to be kept in that awful bunker with this awful man. I hope the little boy’s name is never released.
UPDATE: 9:16 pm CST: On Greta right know, Mel Adams a childhood friend and Midland City Council Member, spoke to the Dykes family throughout the hostage standoff. Below you’ll see that he has a daughter but they haven’t been in touch for years.
UPDATE: 9:06 pm CST: Press conference going on right now. The spokesman says Dykes was armed when the boy was grabbed by FBI but will not give details. No details on how Dykes was killed. When asked if the boy was threatened, spokesman says “yes”. They had “reason to believe they had to go in.” Asked if the boy saw Dykes die today, spokesman would not answer. Asked how they could see Dykes with a gun. Says “using tactics,” but won’t say more. Says by the grace of God the little boy is Okay. Another spokesman from FBI, “I have visited Ethan in the hospital. He is laughing, eating playing. He is doing fine.”
UPDATE: 6:00 pm CST: Authorities are clearing Dykes’ property for explosives.
Dykes was a decorated Vietnam vet who grew up in the area. He lived in Florida until two years ago, the AP reported, and has an adult daughter, but the two lost touch years ago, neighbor Michael Creel said.
Still no word on how Dykes was “observed” with a gun, or how FBI got into the bunker, or how Dykes died.
UPDATE: 4:31 pm CST: From the press conference: Conditions were deteriorating. Dykes was seen holding a gun. Authorities FBI entered the bunker and rescued the boy. No word on whether “authorities” killed Dykes. That’s the end of the conference. No details other than the child is safe and in the hospital and Dykes is dead.
UPDATE: 4:28 pm CST: Press conference scheduled for 3 minutes from now.
UPDATE: 4:30 pm CST: Jonathan Serrie is reporting authorities saying the boy is “okay.” Serrie saying that the deceased bus driver, Charles Poland, kept the Special Needs Children in the front of the bus, which might have made it easier for the Dykes to grab this little 5-year-old boy. Mr. Poland was able to get the back door of the bus open so that children could escape.