SPLC: Hostage taker has "anti-American" views

      The man who ignited a hostage standoff in Midland City,{}Ala.{}Tuesday evening{}when he shot a bus driver and took a child into an underground bunker is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "survivalist."{}{} An official with the Dale County Sheriff's Office told the SPLC's Hatewatch{}the man{}also has ties to the antigovernment movement.

      The gunman is identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, a Vietnam veteran. On Tuesday afternoon, Dykes allegedly stormed into a school bus, shooting the bus driver four times before taking a child to an underground bunker behind his home. The bus driver, identified as Charles Albert Poland, Jr., 66.{} He had been a bus driver for{}the Dale County Board of Education since 2009.

      Tim Byrd, chief investigator with the Dale County Sheriff's Office, told Hatewatch that Dykes had "anti-America" views, though he did not immediately elaborate, saying he had to attend to the pressing investigation. Police continue to communicate with Dykes through a PVC pipe leading into the bunker.{}

      ABC affiliate WDHN reports the FBI has taken the lead in hostage negotiations with Dykes, who is believed to suffer from mental illness.{} SWAT teams have the{}bunker surrounded.{} It is about eight{}feet below the ground and reportedly has enough supplies{}to last a month.

      Authorities{}said the hostage, a 6-year-old boy who has not been identified, "is okay" and had recently been delivered some needed medication.{} School leaders called off classes on Wednesday because of the situation.{}

      Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson cautioned local residents to avoid the scene.{} Some homes near the suspect's home were evacuated for safety reasons.{}