Driver Fatally Shot On Alabama School Bus
A school bus driver has died from gunshot wounds sustained during a shooting near Midland City in Alabama’s Dale County, according to local reports.
The shooting occurred at approximately 3:36 p.m. (CST) along a rural stretch of U.S. Route 231. Witnesses say that the shooter entered the bus and demanded that two students be released into his custody. When the driver refused, the shooter stormed the bus, shooting the driver four times and fleeing the scene with a child. WSFA reports the child taken hostage is a 6 year-old boy.
Although Dale County Sheriff’s officials have yet to provide specific details regarding the situation, multiple reports indicate that the suspect fled to an underground bunker behind a nearby church. Police are currently on the scene negotiating with the suspect.
Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the suspect, but the Dotham Eagle reports that local resident Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, is responsible for the incident. It is unclear whether or not the child taken from the scene is present in the bunker with Dykes.
Dykes was arrested on December 22 on charges on menacing stemming from an incident in which Dykes allegedly pointed a gun at a neighbor. He was scheduled to make an appearance in court on Wednesday, according to AL.com.
A neighbor of the suspect Michael Creel, told the Dotham Eagle that he went outside upon hearing gunshots. He saw children fleeing the scene, indicating to Creel the direction in which the suspect ran.
NBC News reports that schools in both Dale and Ozark Counties have cancelled classes for Wednesday.
Stay tuned for additional updates.
Reach Excecutive Producer Kat Bouza here.