Morning Update: School bus shooting near Dothan, AL

5:30 PM CST — Looks like it’s going to be another long night for the 6-year-old being held hostage by Jimmy Lee Dykes near Dothan, AL. Authorities report the situation as “static,” meaning there has been no substantial change or progress in the negotiations. The bunker is equipped with electricity and supposedly the boy is watching television. Dykes also has enough food and supplies to last a month according to neighbors. 

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As of mid-morning the hostage standoff continues. I just filed a report for Washington Times Communities and noted that the area has been evacuated and negotiators are continuing to talk to the shooter holding a 6-year-old boy hostage in a homemade bunker. This is a very rural area and people are in shock. Things like this just don’t happen here.

One point I left out of the WTC story is that Dale County is home to a lot of retired vets, many of them living out their final days in poverty in trailers and dilapidated housing. It doesn’t come as a great surprise that at least one of them is crazy enough to pull a stunt like this. This man, Jimmy Lee Dykes, sounds like he was a real nutcase. One neighbor said that he whacked his dog with a shovel while digging out an underground bunker. That bunker is where he is currently holding the little boy. At least he has allowed the child to have his medicine.

Things were very quiet at Chloe’s grade school this morning. We are about 10 miles from where all the activity is and there was no sign of extra security other than the principal’s stern gaze at cars dropping off kids. She is not one to trifle with and we’re all glad of that. The good news is that unlike some areas of the country there is less tendency to go into a full panic when incidents occur. Others may have a different opinion, but I for one prefer it when a community remains calm and cool-headed.

There is not much more to report at this time, and I hope and pray that the boy will be safely released as soon as possible. Right now everything is in the hands of God and the negotiators. You couldn’t pay me enough to do a job like that. Let’s hope this thing ends without more bloodshed.

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