The standoff between law enforcement and an Alabama man who held a boy in a bunker for seven days ended with the suspect dead and the 5-year-old safely rescued, a law enforcement source told CNN.
Reports of an explosion at Jimmy Lee Dykes' Midland City property came first on Monday afternoon, followed by media reports of the 65-year-old's death.
The crisis began Jan. 29 when authorities say Dykes boarded a school bus and demanded that he take two boys between six and eight years old. The bus driver -- Charles Albert Poland, Jr. -- is hailed as a hero for putting himself between Dykes and the children. His valor cost him his life, as Dykes allegedly shot Poland several times before taking the 5-year-old boy from the bus.
"You didn't deserve to die but you died knowing you kept everyone safe," said a letter from a student on Poland's bus that was read aloud at the bus driver's funeral.
The bunker in which Dykes holed up was four feet underground. He equipped it with electricity and was said to possibly have weeks of supplies stored. Negotiators communicated to him through a ventilation pipe. Because of the risk of tornadoes in this part of Alabama, bunkers are a relative fixture on the landscape.
Authorities sent Ethan's prescription medicine as well as items the boy requested like Cheez-Its snacks and a red Hot Wheels toy car.
There was open communication with Dykes, according to authorities, but they said he'd made few demands, making it unclear what he hoped to accomplish.
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