– Officers stormed an underground bunker in Alabama where a five-year-old boy had been held hostage for almost a week, rescuing the child and leaving his abductor dead.
FBI spokesman Steve Richardson said yesterday that negotiations with Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, had deteriorated.
Dykes, who a week earlier had abducted the boy after fatally shooting the driver, had been seen with a gun. Officers believed the boy was in imminent danger, Mr Richardson said.
Officers stormed the bunker just after 3 pm local time on Monday (about 8 am yesterday, Melbourne time) to rescue the child, who was taken to hospital in nearby Dothan. Officials have said the child has Asperger’s syndrome. It was not immediately clear how Dykes died.
Daryle Hendry, who lives about 500m from the bunker, said he had heard a boom, followed by what sounded like a gunshot.
Neighbours said Dykes once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a torch and a firearm.
Neighbour Ronda Wilbur said she was relieved to be done with the stress of knowing Dykes was patrolling his yard and willing to shoot at trespassers – AP