Alabama hostage crisis ends, 5-year-old Ethan unharmed


In this handout photo provided by the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, is seen in a police booking photo. Dykes was killed by police Monday, ending a week-long stand-off in which he had kidnapped a young boy and held him in a bunker.



Alabama police said Monday they killed Jimmy Lee Dykes, who kidnapped a boy and held him hostage in a bunker.

His five-year-old hostage, Ethan, was said to be unharmed, reported the Associated Press.

Authorities remained tight-lipped about the raid Monday afternoon that led to Ethan's release, but on Tuesday ABC News reported that the FBI was able to get a camera into the bunker to monitor Dykes' movements.

The killing of Dykes, 65, ended a seven-day stand-off that captured national attention.

Dykes had kidnapped the boy from a school bus in Midland City, Ala. after killing the school bus driver.

He took the child about three miles away to a bunker in the hamlet, Newton, Ala. where police had been negotiating the boy's release.

BBC reported that local residents said they heard a boom and then gunshots on Monday afternoon.

The boy was believed to be in imminent danger.

"Within the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated, and Mr Dykes was observed holding a gun," said FBI spokesman, Steve Richardson, in a news conference after the rescue, reported the Guardian.

"Believing the child was in imminent danger, agents entered the bunker and rescued the child." 

The rescue attempt began at 3:12 pm.

Hostage-taker Dykes was a Vietnam veteran and has been described as an anti-government "survivalist," with a history of violence.

Ethan is said to turn 6 on Wednesday.