Officers have stormed a bunker in Alabama in which a young boy was being held hostage by a 65-year-old man. Ethan has been rescued and is now safe and sound, announces The Courier.
Law enforcement agencies have worked together to end a hostage situation that has kept us at the edge of our seats for more than a week.
As we detailed before, 6-year-old Ethan was abducted after a bus ride that ended in Jimmy Lee Dykes killing the 66-year-old school bus driver.
The crisis situation started with Dykes shooting the elderly driver over his refusal to let him take the child with him. Reports revealed that he also threatened to kill the other passengers, before retiring to a bunker with his hostage.
In a statement to the media following the rescue operation, Mobile FBI officer Steve Richardson reveals that Jimmy Lee Dykes has been shot dead during the mission.
No further details about the kidnapper's death have been shared with the press. Richardson mentioned that they dubbed the man armed and dangerous, believing the boy to be in imminent danger.
Before law enforcement officials broke in the bunker, negotiations were hitting a rough spot. Dykes, who shot 66-year-old bus driver Albert Poland, still carried his weapon upon entering the hiding place.
Poland has been commemorated during a service on Sunday and hailed as a hero by members of the community and local officials.
"This man was a true hero who was willing to give up his life so others might live," Governor Robert Bentley has stated once the rescue operation has been completed.
As Ethan is an autism sufferer, his family has been worried about his mental condition during his time as a captive. While he has been transported for a check-up at a hospital in nearby Dothan, he hasn't been harmed in the standoff.