Family of 5-Year-Old Boy Being Held Hostage by School Bus Gunman Is 'Holding On by a Thread'

school busThe horrific nightmare started yesterday afternoon when an Alabama man, who has been identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, boarded a school bus and demanded two children. The bus driver refused, and Dykes allegedly shot him dead, and then took a 5-year-old boy with him. He headed to an underground bunker on his rural property, and there they have been ever since in a standoff with law officers.

It's now been more than 24 hours, and it's impossible to even begin to imagine what this boy's parents must be feeling as they sit by helpless as their son is down there with this madman, and the hours drag on and on. State Rep. Steve Clouse told CNN that the boy has Asperger's Syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and that police have managed to get some needed prescription medicine to him through a PVC pipe that feeds into the bunker, but that is surely little comfort to the family. Clouse said they are "holding on by a thread."

The randomness of this crime makes it all the more terrifying, as Dykes apparently has no connection to the boy. He simply got up and went to school one day, and the next he was being ripped off his bus by a violent man for no apparent reason.

More from The Stir: School Bus Driver Shot Dead After Refusing to Hand 6-Year-Old Passenger to a Gun Carrying Madman

Neighbors paint a portrait of Dykes as an angry and violent man. According to CBS, neighbors say he was 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." He was supposed to be in court this morning for charges that he shot at a neighbor because of a disagreement over a speed bump. The thought of a child being alone for five seconds with someone like that is horrifying. This boy has been there more than a day, and there's no sign as I write this that things will end anytime soon.

I keep checking the news hoping that he'll just send the boy out. Dykes can stay down in that bunker until he rots for all I care, but keeping the boy in there with him is just unfathomable. We can only hope that he's treating the boy well, and do as Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson told reporters he encouraged people to do, "Pray, pray."

Does this story make you frightened to let your child take the school bus?


Image via bsabarnowl/Flickr

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PonyC... PonyChaser

What a stupid question.

I'm horrified for this family, terrified for this little boy, and absolutely outraged that this jackass - who obviously should have been locked up long ago and who should never have been anywhere near a gun (based on laws already on the books, btw) - was walking around free to do this.

But this is a one-in-a-billion occurrence. No, I'm not afraid to send my son to school on the bus. And if I was afraid? It wouldn't be because of some deranged madman, it would be because he's in much more danger from the idiot drivers who are trying to text, eat breakfast, and apply their makeup while they're driving to work.

gem09... gem092011

Amen, PonyChaser! Well said.

nonmember avatar blue

One in a billion? Just since Sandy Hook there have been several mass shootings and "random" crime like this? One in a billion? How freaking blind (or just dense) are you?

sofia... sofia0587

I hope they execute that sick fuck he seems like a waste if air anyways but I pray for that little boy and his family, I can't even imagine what they are all going through.

nonmember avatar Rosie

I fully believe in the release of this little boy..I know Jesus Himself is with him. The deranged, twisted man who is holding the little guy Can Not Harm even one hair on his head**Just Believe that God has the boy under Protection without doubt***I BELIEVE!

nonmember avatar Chris

You know what makes me crazy about the comments above? Do you really believe that God is going to listen and answer those prayers? Does that mean that all of the people who pray for their sick children, or the people whose kids were slaughtered at Sandy Hook, or the folks who have loved ones dying painful drawn out deaths, are ignored by God? Is it a popularity contest with the Big Guy? @Rosie, if this sick bastard kills the little boy, what does that mean? Does it mean that God and Jesus abandoned the kid? Does it mean that not enough people were praying for him? Religion is a mental illness.

bills... billsfan1104

Blue, what several mass shootings?

bills... billsfan1104

And I agree with you Pony.

bills... billsfan1104

Chris, it's called faith. It's called believing that God has a plan for us and that there are reasons for for things that happen.

nonmember avatar Chris

Faith, billsfan? That somehow it's ok that some sick pervert may kill a small defenseless boy? What kind of God would have a "plan" like that? I just don't understand how people can believe that there's some higher purpose to that. Maybe there is a God - I would never say with certainty that there's not one - but if He exists, I don't believe he's micromanaging all that happens. No all-powerful being would "plan" for innocent babies to be senselessly murdered, or a little boy to be kidnapped and possibly worse.

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