School bus driver shot and killed, child taken hostage in Dale County (Update)

    The school bus ended up parked near this church in Dale County following the shooting. (Dothan Eagle/

    A driver of a school bus in Dale County was shot several times, and a 6-year-old student passenger has been taken as a hostage by the suspected shooter near Midland City.

    Police report that the incident happened at approximately 3:36 p.m. Tuesday when the suspect demanded the driver to let a student off the bus. When the driver refused, the suspect boarded the bus, shot the driver before taking the child and fleeing the scene.

    Law enforcement officials are currently negotiating with the suspect who took the child to an area behind Destiny Church.

    We'll continue to follow this story and provide updates as information is made available.


    ABC 33/40 has learned that the bus driver has died from gunshot wounds sustained during the incident.{}

    According to a report from, the shooter has been identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, who was arrested on December 22 for pulling a gun on a man and charged with menacing.

    The shooting and hostage situation took place at the intersection of US 231 and Private Road 1539 in Dale County, and the suspect is holed up in a bunker with the 6-year-old hostage behind his residence on the road. He has told police that he will not hurt the child.

    The Dale County Sheriff's Office issued the following news release Tuesday:

    "The Dale County Sheriff's Department has established a command post location at the intersection of 231 North and Private Road 1539 in Dale County, Alabama following a shooting. Multiple agencies are present assisting with the incident. Authorities say a call was received regarding a shooting involving a Dale County School Bus at 3:36 p.m.

    "At this time limited details are being released however the Sheriff's Department has confirmed one adult male was shot and the suspect is not in custody. Further details will be released as they become available.

    "School System Authorities have confirmed that all Dale County and Ozark City Schools will be closed on Wednesday January 30, 2012."

    Update #2

    As of 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, the suspect has yet to surrender to police or release the child as the standoff continues in Midland City.


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