On Jan. 31, 2013, a five year old boy continued to be holed up in an underground bunker with an Alabama gunman who authorities say shot and killed a school bus driver on Tuesday.
NBC News reports the young hostage is being kept calm with TV and has been given medicine he requires.
The family of the boy, only identified as Ethan and known affectionately to his mother as “Love Bug,” remains unharmed, according to the report.
Rep. Steve Clouse told NBC the child’s family is “holding on by a thread” through this harrowing standoff. He also told reporters the boy suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for which he must take medication.
Authorities continue to try to reason with the suspected shooter through a long PVC pipe. Law enforcement have identified the man as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, a Vietnam veteran.
A source told NBC the bunker in which Dykes is holding the child is about 4 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 8 feet deep and contains food, power, a television and a number of other supplies.
KHOU reports that Dykes is a retired truck driver and was due in court Wednesday morning related to charges involving shots fired at his neighbors over a speed bump issue.
The local news media outlet also notes that Dykes is “known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure 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.”
Reuters reports that on Jan. 29 at around 4 p.m., the suspected gunman demanded a child be let off a school bus. When the driver refused, authorities believe the suspect boarded the bus, shot the driver, took the child, and left the scene.