Midland City Standoff
12:21 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Town Mourns For Slain Bus Driver Amid Standoff

A vigil in Midland City Saturday afternoon for the driver, abductor and child at the center of the days-long standoff.
Credit Danny Tindell / Dothan Eagle

Hundreds of people have turned out at a service to remember an Alabama bus driver who was shot to death trying to protect the young children on his school bus.

Mourners who attended a viewing service at a funeral home Saturday night remembered 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland, Jr., as a humble hero who taught Sunday School and often lent a helping hand to others.

Authorities said Jim Lee Dykes boarded a stopped school bus carrying 21 children Tuesday afternoon and demanded two boys between 6 and 8 years old. When Poland tried to block his way, the gunman shot him several times and took one 5-year-old boy — who police say remains in an underground bunker with Dykes.

School bus driver William Lisenby said Poland "laid down his life to defend those children." His funeral is Sunday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.