Abductor Dead, Child Safe in Alabama Standoff

A stun or flash grenade was used in the rescue: official
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2013 4:23 PM CST
Alabama Hostage Standoff Comes to an End
Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver identified by officials as the suspect in a fatal shooting and hostage standoff in Midland City, Ala.   (AP Photo/Alabama Department of Public Safety)

The former trucker who kidnapped a 5-year-old boy in Alabama is dead and the child is safe, Reuters reports. "It's all over," said a law enforcement official. "The boy is OK." Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, had seized the boy from a school bus last week after allegedly shooting the driver dead. Holding the boy in a homemade bunker, Dykes engaged law enforcement in a grueling week-long standoff. CNN reports that it ended after negotiations "deteriorated" this afternoon and officers rescued the child, according to an FBI agent.

"Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun," said the agent. A stun or flash grenade was reportedly used in the rescue, but officials haven't said how Dykes died. One of his rural Alabama neighbors said it ended with a "boom": "I heard a big boom and then I heard, I believe I heard, rifle shots," he said. "Literally made me jump off the ground." The boy, named Ethan, was taken to a hospital, according to Alabama Rep. Steve Clouse. Ethan has Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, for which officers passed medicine into the bunker during the standoff. (More Alabama stories.)

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