Hostage Crisis Over: Child Safe, Alleged Gunman Dead

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (WHNT) - Officials confirm a 5-year-old boy is safe following an intense 7-day hostage crisis in Dale County. The alleged gunman, Jimmy Lee Dykes, is dead.

They spoke briefly at a news conference shortly after 4:30 p.m.  They did not provide many details, saying those would come later.

Steve Richardson, a spokesperson for the FBI's Mobile division, said the child was recovered safely from the bunker at 3:12 p.m. Monday.  Within the past 24 hours, negotiations with Dykes had deteriorated, Dykes said, and agents could see Dykes holding a gun.

The boy, Ethan, had been held in the bunker since Tuesday, January 29.  Richardson said agents feared for the boy's safety, considering how Dykes was communicating with them today, and agents entered the bunker.  Agents got Ethan out of the bunker safely.

Dykes is dead, Richardson said.  He did not offer further details.

Ethan was taken to a hospital about eight miles away for treatment, Alabama Rep. Steve Clouse told CNN.

"Finally, this nightmare has come to an end," he said.

WHNT News 19 is working to get more details on this developing situation.  We will continue to update


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