midland city

Things here this evening went on hold across two counties after a man shot and killed a school bus driver and took one small boy hostage this afternoon. The man is a 65-year-old retired Vietnam veteran described as having mental problems by his neighbor. Around 3:30 in the afternoon, as the bus pulled up to let off kids near his house, he entered the bus, ordered all but one kid off and shot the driver three times.

The driver acted to save the kids and followed all procedures required by the state, which included sending an alert for help. The shooter then took one boy, around 5 or 6, and ran off. The child is currently a hostage at a homemade bunker at the man’s house. The area is completely sealed off by police from two counties and the FBI. Negotiators are trying to get the boy released.

Neighbors of the man, Jimmy Lee Dykes, report that he suffers paranoia, is delusional and has been a concern for some years. No real details, including his name, have been released yet. The actual event took place in Midland City near the Dothan Airport, about 10 miles from where we live. The community is, as expected, in shock over the incident. This kind of thing is pretty rare for this area.

We join the rest of the town in offering prayers for the boy and a peaceful resolution to the situation. I will update with details as available.