[QODLink]
Americas

Boy rescued in Alabama hostage standoff

Officials say hostage-taker killed after holding five-year-old in an underground bunker in the southern US state.
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2013 02:25

A gunman holding a five-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker in the US state of Alabama has been killed, and the child was rescued without injury, a local law enforcement official said.

"It's all over," said the official on Monday, who asked not to be identified by name because he had not been authorised to discuss the operation that led to the successful rescue of the child. "The boy is OK."

The rescue came on the seventh day of a standoff in a rural corner of southeast Alabama involving a suspect identified as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, a retired trucker and Vietnam war veteran.

Dykes seized the boy last Tuesday after boarding a school bus near his home and killing its driver with four shots from a 9mm handgun, local sheriff's department officials said.

The law enforcement source said a stun or flash grenade was detonated as part of the operation to free the boy.

"Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun," said Steve Richardson, the FBI special agent in charge in Mobile, Alabama.

It was not immediately clear how Dykes died, however.

Law enforcement officials have offered few insights about Dykes and their negotiations with him ahead of the rescue on Monday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Dale County sheriff Wally Olson said the gunman had a "very complex" story to tell.

"Based on our discussion with Mr. Dykes, he feels like he has a story that's important to him, although it's very complex. And we try to make a safe environment for all for that," Olson said, without elaborating.

The drama in Midland City, Alabama, came amid heightened concerns about gun violence and school safety across the United States after the December shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school.

297

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
join our mailing list