FBI: Midland City Hostage-Taker Engaged In Firefight With SWAT, Had Two Explosive Devices

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MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (WHNT and AL.com) – Hostage-taker Jimmy Lee Dykes engaged in a firefight with Federal Bureau of Investigation SWAT agents who entered his bunker Monday afternoon, a preliminary investigation by the FBI suggests.

“It also appears that the subject reinforced the bunker against any attempted entry by law enforcement,” FBI spokesman Jason Pack said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

Two explosive devices were found at the scene and disrupted today, Pack said.

The FBI is slowly beginning to release some details of the seven-day hostage crisis where Midland City Elementary School kindergartener, Ethan, was held in Dykes underground bunker in Midland City.

FBI raided Dykes’ bunker on Monday afternoon after they felt Ethan was threatened. Dykes was killed in the raid.

Dale County Coroner Woodrow Hilboldt told The Associated Press Tuesday that he had not been able to confirm exactly how Dykes died because the man’s body remained in the bunker. An autopsy was to be conducted in Montgomery once the body is taken away.

Bomb technicians with the FBI, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the Dothan Police Department continue to search the crime scene for explosive hazards.

One device was located inside the bunker. The other device was located in the plastic pipe negotiators used to communicate with Dykes.

The search for explosive devices is expected to continue Wednesday, Pack said.

When the bomb technicians finish, evidence response teams will begin to process the scene. That process could take several days.

The Dale County Sheriff’s Department and the Alabama Department of Public Safety are working with displaced residents to allow them to take care of animals and other needs. Those needs are being considered case by case.

The shooting review team continues to gather facts regarding the incident.