Vietnam vet still holds boy (5) hostage

Tamara Lush

AS A hostage drama in Alabama enters its sixth day, more details emerged about the suspect at the centre of the standoff.

US authorities say Jim Lee Dykes (65) – a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War – gunned down a school bus driver and then abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus, taking him to an underground bunker on his rural property.

The driver, 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland Jr, was buried yesterday.

Dykes, described as a loner who railed against the government, lives in a remote area.

Neighbours described Dykes as a man who 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.

The FBI said that authorities continue to have an open line of communication with Dykes and that they planned to deliver food, toys and medicine to the bunker.