Alabama kidnapper who held child hostage was shot multiple times

National

Alabama kidnapper who held child hostage was shot multiple times

Posted: Updated:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- A man who held a 5-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker for nearly a week before dying in a shootout with the FBI received "multiple gunshot wounds" to his body, a county coroner said Thursday.

Dale County Coroner Woodrow Hilboldt said he was allowed into the bunker in the southeastern Alabama community of Midland City on Wednesday evening. He pronounced 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes dead at 8:58 p.m.

"He had multiple gunshot wounds," Hilboldt told The Associated Press. The coroner declined to say how many times Dykes had been shot or where the wounds were on his body. He said the body was taken to a state forensics laboratory in Montgomery for an autopsy.

The body was removed from the bunker Wednesday night, FBI agent Jason Pack said Thursday, hours after the FBI announced that it had found no more explosives on the property besides those that were discovered in a PVC pipe leading into the bunker and inside the bunker itself.

FBI Special Agent Paul Bresson said in an email late Wednesday that the technicians who scoured the 100-acre property in the days after the standoff ended had "completed their work and cleared the crime scene."

"No additional devices were found," he added.

Bresson said evidence-review teams are now sifting through the crime scene, a process that could take two to three more days. A shooting-review team from Washington also is reviewing the hostage-taking episode, which began Jan. 29 and ended Monday when Dykes was killed in a gunfight with the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team.

The team, which is the agency's full-time counterterrorism unit, raided the bunker and rescued the 5-year-old boy, FBI spokesman Jason Pack said. Trained in military tactics and outfitted with combat-style gear and weapons, the group was formed 30 years ago in preparation for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

According to a U.S. official, about a dozen Navy Seabees, who specialize in naval construction, helped authorities build a mock-up of the bunker to plan the FBI assault. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the rescue effort, spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

Hilboldt, who got a close look at the bunker Wednesday night, described it as being about 6 feet-by-8 feet with an 8-foot-high plywood ceiling. The ceiling contained a 2-foot-by-2-foot hatch for a door and a ladder extending to the floor from the opening, Hilboldt said. The interior was lined with concrete blocks and the bunker contained only "makeshift" furniture, he said.

"There wasn't much room," Hilboldt said, adding that the officers who stormed the bunker "did good with what they had to work with."

Hilboldt said the FBI already had removed many items from the bunker and conducted an inventory. He wouldn't go into details about what was still there, such as toys that had been delivered to the child or electronic equipment.

Authorities said the standoff began a week ago Tuesday when Dykes boarded a bus full of children and gunned down driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. as Poland sought to protect the 21 children on board. According to officials, the gunman then seized the boy, whom law enforcement authorities have identified only by his first name, Ethan, and fled with his hostage to the nearby bunker, setting up the standoff that captured national attention.

On Wednesday, Ethan's sixth birthday, Midland City residents sought to resume a normal life in their tight-knit rural community nestled amid peanut and cotton farms.

The boy, who has Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was said to be acting like a normal kid despite his ordeal.

Officials hope to eventually throw a party to celebrate Ethan's birthday. They also plan to honor Poland's memory.

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 6 injured when car jumps curb in Palo Alto

    6 injured when car jumps curb in Palo Alto

    Police in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Palo Alto say six people were injured, one critically, when a car jumped a curb outside a cafe.More >>
    Police in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Palo Alto say six people were injured, one critically, when a car jumped a curb outside a cafe.More >>
  • Got Solar? Utility looking to place solar panels on a home near you

    Got Solar? Utility looking to place solar panels on a home near you

    Arizona's top utility company is looking to place solar panels on 3,000 homes; at no cost to the homeownerArizona Public Service announced that they plan on placing these panels on residents homes and in turn for the usage of their roofs the utility company will give them a $30 discount on their monthly bill for the next 20 years. If approved by regulators APS will spend anywhere from 50 to 70 million in project costs. This new initiative will help the utility giant meets it's mandatory alter...More >>
    Arizona's top utility company is looking to place solar panels on 3,000 homes; at no cost to the homeownerArizona Public Service announced that they plan on placing these panels on residents homes and in turn for the usage of their roofs the utility company will give them a $30 discount on their monthly bill for the next 20 years. If approved by regulators APS will spend anywhere from 50 to 70 million in project costs. This new initiative will help the utility giant meets it's mandatory alter...More >>
  • National

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Obama warns of delay in social sec. checks and veteran's benefits

    Web Producer: Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor WASHINGTON (AP) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits willMore >>
    Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.More >>
  • Father time reared his head

    Father time reared his head

    As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-year-old city water line, Los Angeles city leaders on Wednesday were once again confronted with the consequences of deferred maintenance on the city's aging infrastructure. Officials have long known that hundreds of miles of city water lines have deteriorated and need replacement, with many past the century mark. But in recent years, L.A.'s elected leaders have been unwilling to hike water rates enough to fix th...More >>
    As UCLA tallied the damage from rampant flooding triggered by the rupture of a 90-year-old city water line, Los Angeles city leaders on Wednesday were once again confronted with the consequences of deferred maintenance on the city's aging infrastructure. Officials have long known that hundreds of miles of city water lines have deteriorated and need replacement, with many past the century mark. But in recent years, L.A.'s elected leaders have been unwilling to hike water rates enough to fix th...More >>
  • Yuma woman charged with hindering prosecution of murder suspect

    Yuma woman charged with hindering prosecution of murder suspect

    YUMA, AZ- Another woman is charged with hindering prosecution of a murder suspect in the death of a Yuma man. Regina Garcia went before Judge Gregory Stewart in Yuma Justice Court Thursday afternoon.More >>
    Another woman is charged with hindering prosecution of a murder suspect in the death of a Yuma man.More >>
  • 13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    13 arrested in Phoenix area stolen property probe

    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
    Authorities say 13 people have been arrested after search warrants were served in Gilbert and Chandler after a seven-month drug and stolen property investigation.More >>
  • Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

    Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

    A union says California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide watch records at the state's Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating court-mandated standards.More >>
    A union says California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide watch records at the state's Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating court-mandated standards.More >>
  • Yuma

    Judge ups grandmother's charges in shooting death of 3-year-old

    Judge ups grandmother's charges in shooting death of 3-year-old

    YUMA, AZ - Monday a Yuma judge has upped the charges against the grandmother - first charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of her 3-year-old grandson Darien Nez. 35-year old Rachel Spry nowMore >>
    Monday a Yuma judge has upped the charges against the grandmother - first charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of her 3-year-old grandson Darien Nez.More >>