Gunman kills bus driver, takes boy

A Dale County Sheriff's deputy stands at a roadblock near the scene of a shooting and the standoff with the shooter in Midland City, Alabama. REUTERS/Phil Sears
A Dale County Sheriff's deputy stands at a roadblock near the scene of a shooting and the standoff with the shooter in Midland City, Alabama. REUTERS/Phil Sears
A standoff is taking place in Alabama after a gunman boarded a school bus, killed the driver,
snatched a boy and retreated into a bunker at his home.

SWAT teams and hostage negotiators are gathered near the home of Jimmy Lee Dykes in the small town of Midland City.

Police say Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, boarded a stopped school bus in Midland City on
Tuesday afternoon (local time). He shot the driver when he refused to let a 6-year-old boy off the bus.
The gunman then took the boy away and has yet to release him.

Reports say Dykes was supposed to appear in court
on Wednesday to answer charges he shot at his neighbours in a dispute over a
speed bump.

Dykes was described by neighbours as a paranoid and combative man who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun.

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