Inside Underground Bunker Where Boy Was Held Hostage

By: Jamie Burch, News Director Email
By: Jamie Burch, News Director Email

MIDLAND CITY, Alabama - Nearly four months after a hostage standoff near Dothan, we’re finally getting a look inside the underground bunker.

The FBI just released photos taken inside the 12’ x 8’ x 6’ bunker in Midland City, Alabama where Jimmy Lee Dykes held a 5-year-old boy hostage for 7 days.

Dykes, 65, stormed a Dale County School Bus on January 29 and told the driver he wasn't leaving without a child.

"I need two boys six to eight years old," Dykes said. "I mean it. Right now! Right now!"

The driver, Charles Poland, refused and tried to protect the kids.

"It's my responsibility to keep these kids on the bus," Poland said. "I can't turn them over to somebody else."

The heroic move cost Poland his life. Moments later, Dykes shot and killed him.

Dykes then kidnapped 5-year-old Ethan and took him down into the bunker on his property.

In audio recordings released by the FBI, you can hear an agitated Dykes cursing out hostage negotiators during the week long standoff.

“If that sorry son of a (expletive) doesn’t have the man enough to talk to me, and treat me, and respond to me, and answer some God (expletive) questions for me and give me some (expletive) information, than by God it’s his (expletive) responsibility the outcome.“ Dykes said. “You just go ahead and send some mother (expletive) down that God (expletive) funnel up there to their death.”

Worried about Ethan’s safety, the FBI eventually stormed the bunker, set off a diversionary explosive device and shot Dykes. Ethan was unharmed.

The FBI also released part of the 911 call placed by a 15-year-old boy on the bus.

“(Dispatcher) Tell me what the guy with the gun is doing again?
(Teenage Caller) He’s asking for kids.
(Dispatcher) He’s asking for kids?!?!
(Teenage Caller) Yes ma’am.
(Dispatcher) has he made it onto the bus?
(Teenage Caller) Yes ma’am
(Dispatcher) Is he asking for a certain child, like his child? Or just wanting kids in general.”

After the shooting, the brave teenager delivers the terrible news.

“(Dispatcher) Is he on the bus? Did he take the kid off the bus?
(Teenage Caller) He took the kid off the bus
(Dispatcher) Is the bus driver the only person that was shot?
(Teenage Caller) Yes ma’am.
(Dispatcher) Hang in there hunny. You’re doing so good. I’m so proud of you.”


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647 FCC Form 398
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 209763911