Man shoots US bus driver, takes child

Police teams swarmed a rural US property on Wednesday where a man accused of fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old passenger was thought to be hiding in a homemade bunker. Neighbours were evacuated, and one said she had been startled this week by the suspect’s stare.

The man boarded the bus in Midland City, Alabama, last afternoon and shot the driver when he refused to let the child off, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen told WBMA-TV.

The shooter then took the child, authorities said. County coroner Woodrow Hilboldt told The Associated Press the standoff continued early today.

“That’s what has been described to me as an underground bunker. Someplace to get out of the way of a tornado,” Hilboldt said.

Neighbours said the rural property belonged to Jimmy Lee Dykes, a man in his 60s.

Court records showed Dykes had been scheduled to appear in court this morning to face a charge of menacing neighbours as they drove by his house last month. The neighbours said he yelled and fired shots over damage he claimed their truck did to a makeshift speed bump in the dirt road.

About 50 vehicles from law enforcement agencies were clustered at the mouth of that road on Wednesday. Reporters were being held back from the area and couldn’t see the home.
The coroner said the victim died of multiple gunshot wounds.

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