school bus driver shooting

Bus Driver Honored
5:18 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Alabama Senate Recognizes Slain Bus Driver

Slain bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. was honored by the Alabama Senate to start the 2013 legislative session.
Credit Dothan Eagle

The Alabama Senate began its 2013 session by passing a resolution memorializing a school bus driver shot to death while trying to stop a kidnapping.


The senator representing Dale County, independent Harri Anne Smith of Slocomb, got the Senate to vote unanimously Tuesday for her resolution praising Dale County school bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. for trying to stop a kidnapping on his bus last week. The kidnapper kept a 5-year-old boy in an underground bunker until Monday, when law enforcement officers killed him and rescued the boy.

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Midland City Standoff
6:46 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Authorities: Captor Shot and Boy Freed Safely From Six-Day Hostage Ordeal in Underground Bunker

After seven days spent hostage in Jimmy Lee Dykes' underground bunker in Midland City, 5-year-old Ethan is free.
Joe Songer/jsonger@al.com

Officials say law enforcement officers stormed an underground bunker in southeastern Alabama, freeing a 5-year-old boy and shooting his captor to death after they became convinced the child was in imminent danger.


Authorities said 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes had taken the child off a school bus after fatally shooting the driver on Jan 29. Dykes had remained holed up in the bunker with the child.


Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said late Monday that Dykes was armed when officers entered the bunker to rescue the child.

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Midland City Standoff
5:16 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

The Week-long Midland City Hostage Situation Has Ended

Reporters await the announcement that the Midland City hostage situation has ended.
Credit Dothan Eagle

The week-long hostage ordeal of a 5-year-old Alabama boy is over. Officials say the man who killed a bus driver and took the boy from a school bus last Tuesday is dead.  The drama played out in an underground bunker where retired truck driver Jim Dykes had held the boy.


Authorities say a decision was made to storm the bunker because the child was in imminent danger.


Steve Richardson with the FBI's office in Mobile said at a news conference Monday afternoon that negotiations deteriorated and that 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes had been seen with a gun.

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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.

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Midland City Standoff
4:37 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Alabama Governor Calls Mother Of Kidnapped Boy

Governor Robert Bentley has reached out to the mother of the boy being held hostage in a bunker in southeast Alabama.
Credit Al Whitaker / WHNT News 19

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he has called the mother of the 5-year-old Dale County boy kidnapped from his school bus on Tuesday. The boy is being held in a handmade bunker in Dale County in southeast Alabama.


Bentley said he has talked to the mother on the telephone. He described her as being "very distraught as I would be." The governor has four grown sons.


The governor said he and other state officials are "hoping for a peaceful" resolution of the situation.

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Midland City Standoff
5:02 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Man Linked To Ala. Standoff Was Facing Court

Law enforcement officials outside of the area where Tuesday's school bus shooting suspect is barricaded in a bunker.
Credit Jay Hare / Dothan Eagle

The pastor of a nearby church helped comfort children who were on a rural Alabama school bus when a gunman killed the driver and took a 6-year-old boy.


Pastor Michael Senn said Wednesday, a day after the shooting, that the kids were "pretty shocked, traumatized."


He says "they saw everything that happened. They saw the man shoot the driver."


Authorities now believe the man is holed up in an underground shelter in a standoff.


Multiple neighbors have said suspect was paranoid and combative.

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