Five-year-old Ethan free; police still collecting evidence

Terrica Singletary was on the bus with Ethan Gilliam when driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. was shot and killed on January 29, 2013. (

"I was just praying to God Ethan was OK," Terrica Singletary said.

Singletary, arguably, was more concerned for Ethan's safety than anyone.

And for good reason.

She was familiar with Ethan's kidnapper, Jimmy Dykes. She was on that same school bus last Tuesday.

Full recap of Midland City shooting and hostage standoff with pics, video and links.

"I thought that horrible man, after what he done to Mr. Poland...I thought he was going to hurt Ethan," she said.

She remembers Dykes walking on her bus and talking to the bus driver, Charles Poland, Jr.

"Some man comes up and he gives him broccoli and a note," she said. "But he throws it away and he had his pistol in his jacket."

Terrified, she says she ducked down in her seat.

"He was threatening everyone, talking about he'll shoot everyone...kill everyone," Singletary said.

Poland threw the bus in reverse trying to get away and that's when Singletary says Dykes shot and killed him.

Poland, who has been described as a quiet, gentle man was buried, Sunday.

People in Midland City, a faith-based community, believe Poland continued to watch over Ethan, even when he was in that bunker.

"Now that Ethan's safe, I feel happy and relieved," she said.