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Small Alabama Town Relieved that Child Hostage is Safe

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) — Officials say a 5-year-old boy has been safely freed after officers stormed an underground bunker in Alabama and shot his 65-year-old armed captor to death.

Authorities said agents rescued the child Monday from an increasingly agitated gunman, Jimmy Lee Dykes, fearing the child was facing imminent danger.

Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said Dykes was armed when officers entered the bunker. Officials say Dykes seized the child from a crowded school bus Jan. 29 after fatally shooting the driver.

Olson declined to say how Dykes died.

But a Midland City official, citing information from law enforcement officials, said police had shot Dykes. The official requested anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

Many questions remained unanswered Tuesday about how the standoff was ended.