Police have surrounded a rural property where a man who fatally shot school bus driver Charles Albert Poland, Jr., 66, and abducted a six year old passenger, has been holed up. Neighbors identified the property owner as Jimmy Lee Dykes. The Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes Jimmy Lee Dykes as a “survivalist” and has “anti-American” views. He reportedly has ties to the anti-government movement.
The standoff went through the night after a gunman boarded a stopped school bus in the small town of Midland City on Tuesday afternoon. Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen said the man shot the driver when he refused to let the child off the bus. The shooter took the child away and the driver died of multiple gunshots.
Court records showed Dykes, 65, had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to face a charge of menacing some neighbors as they drove by his house last month. The neighbors said he yelled and fired shots over damage he claimed their pickup truck did to a make-shift speed bump in the dirt road. Source
The six year old boy being held hostage is autistic and his medication was passed to him on the property.
Here’s more on Jimmy Lee Dykes from the Southern Poverty Law Center:
It was not immediately clear what prompted Dykes to storm the bus, but his motives appear to be related to a menacing charge in December. That month, Dykes pointed a gun at his neighbor, James Edward Davis Dr., who told the Dothan Eagle that Dykes accused him of driving on his yard. Dykes was scheduled to have a bench trial today on the charge, and an unidentified girl who Dykes released from the bus told reporters that Dykes was referring to his upcoming case.
A neighbor of Dykes, who identified himself as Mike Creel, said that Dykes moved on to his property about two years ago and began building an underground bunker, measuring about four by six feet and eight feet deep, right away, according to WSFA-TV. “It’s the craziest thing,” Davis told the Dothan Eagle. “He will be outside in his yard digging at 2:30 in the morning.”
Hatewatch also learned this morning that a “Jimmy Lee Dykes” had a protective order entered against him on behalf of “Melissa Steed, two minor children,” according to a Feb. 9, 2011, listing in the Coweta [Ala.] America.