Students and family leave the scene of the school bus shooting in Midland City, Ala., Jan. 29, 2013.
MIDLAND CITY, AL (CBSNews.com) - Police, SWAT teams and negotiators surrounded a rural property where a
man was believed to be holed up in an underground shelter Wednesday
after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a
6-year-old child passenger.
The standoff went through the
night after a gunman boarded a stopped school bus in the small town of
Midland City on Tuesday afternoon. Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen said
the man shot the driver when he refused to let the child off the bus.
The shooter took the child away and the driver died of multiple
Investigators have not released the suspect's
name. Neighbors said the property surrounded by police belonged to Jimmy
Court records showed Dykes, 65, had been
scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to face a charge of
menacing some neighbors as they drove by his house last month. The
neighbors said he yelled and fired shots over damage he claimed their
pickup truck did to a make-shift speed bump in the dirt road.
sheriff's office named the victim as Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, who
had been a bus driver since 2009 for the Dale County Board of
Dale County Schools Superintendent Donny Bynum
said Poland was a hero who gave his life to protect 21 students. He
said authorities including the FBI "are doing everything within their
powers to see to the safe release of this six year-old Kindergarten
"Emotions are high, and it's a struggle for us
all to make sense of something so senseless, but let us keep this young
student, his family, and Mr. Poland's family in our thoughts and
prayers," Bynum said in a statement.
About 50 vehicles
from federal, state and local agencies were clustered early Wednesday at
the mouth of a dirt road off a U.S. highway. The dead-end road leads to
homes including the suspect's property, which was over a low rise
behind a church on the highway and couldn't be seen from where reporters
were being kept back.
County coroner Woodrow Hilboldt
told The Associated Press the suspect was believed to be in an
underground shelter on his property.
"That's what has been described to me as an underground bunker. Someplace to get out of the way of a tornado," Hilboldt said.
CBS affiliate WTVY-TV in the nearby town of Dothan reports that police were communicating with the suspect through a PVC pipe in the bunker.
records show Dykes, 65, was arrested Dec. 22 on a charge of menacing.
He was freed on bond and due in court Wednesday morning for a non-jury
Neighbor Claudia Davis, 54, said Dykes yelled and
fired shots at her, her 20-year-old son and the son's 5-month-old baby
when they were passing in their pickup truck. She said Dykes was angry
because her son's truck had earlier damaged a make-shift speed bump
Dykes built on the road in front of his house. No one was injured, but
that led to a police investigation and the court date, Davis said.
this happened I would see him at several places and he would just stare
a hole through me," Davis said. "On Monday I saw him at a laundromat
and he seen me when I was getting in my truck and he just stared and
stared and stared at me."
Midland City police would not
comment, and a dispatcher at the Dale City Sheriff's office told The
Associated Press early Wednesday that the agency was not releasing any
"Authorities also confirmed the
presence of a child at the scene but are giving no further information
at this time," Rachel David, a spokeswoman for Dothan's police
department, said in a news release late Tuesday.
Michael Creel, who lives on the road where the shooting happened, said he went outside after his sister heard gunshots.
"Me and her started running down the road," Creel told the Dothan Eagle. "That's when I realized the bus had its siren going off. Kids were filing out, running down the hill toward the church."