MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – Governor Robert Bentley on Monday issued the following statement upon the conclusion of the Dale County hostage situation:
“Shortly after 3:00 p.m., I spoke with Colonel Hugh McCall of the Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier. They informed me that law enforcement had breached the bunker, the child was safe and the abductor was killed.
“I want to thank the law enforcement, first responders and all additional personnel who worked tireless hours to bring this situation to a resolution. They performed heroic efforts, and they should be praised for how they handled themselves in a professional manner.
“I am thankful that the child who was abducted is now safe. I am so happy this little boy can now be reunited with his family and friends. We will all continue to pray for the little boy and his family as they recover from the trauma of the last several days.
“At the same time, we also want to remember the family and friends of the bus driver – Charles Poland, Junior. This man was a true hero who was willing to give up his life so others might live. We are all inspired by his courage and bravery.
“I ask everyone across the state – and the nation – to continue to lift up these families and the entire Midland City community in your prayers.”