On Feb. 1, 2013, authorities released a photo of the suspected Alabama gunman, Jimmy Lee Dykes, who has been barricaded in an underground bunker since Tuesday after allegedly shooting and killing a school bus driver and abducting a five year old boy.
The boy, who is being held captive in the bunker, has been heard crying for his parents, according to Midland City Mayor Virgil Skipper, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“He’s crying for his parents… They are holding up good. They are praying and asking all of us to pray with them,” Skipper told reporters.
Dykes, 65, has been described by officials as a Vietnam veteran and survivalist who holds anti-government views.
The bunker where he’s holding the boy is equipped with food, electricity, a television, and numerous supplies, according to the Times.
The young hostage, only described as Ethan, has been given medication he needs for Asperger’s Syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and is being calmed by watching television, reports indicate.
An FBI negotiator has been speaking with the suspected gunman through a long PVC pipe to attempt to end the standoff, according to CNN.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told CNN affiliate WMPI that authorities have the “right people” working to bring the matter to a close.
“Patience should be a virtue… we don’t want to make any mistakes,” he added.
KHOU has reported 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, Charles Poland Jr., 66, refused, authorities believe the suspect boarded the bus, shot Poland, took the child, and left the scene.