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Hostage taker in Alabama standoff tied to “survivalism”

The man who ignited a hostage standoff in southern Alabama when he shot a bus driver and took a child into an underground bunker is a “survivalist” who has ties to the antigovernment movement, an official with the Dale County Sheriff’s Office told Hatewatch this morning.

The gunman is identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, a Vietnam veteran. On Tuesday afternoon, Dykes allegedly stormed into a school bus in Midland City, Ala., shooting the bus driver four times with a 9 mm pistol before taking a child to an underground bunker behind his home. The bus driver, identified as 66-year-old Charles Poland Jr., later died.

Tim Byrd, chief investigator with the Dale County Sheriff’s Office, told Hatewatch that Dykes had “anti-America” views. “His friends and his neighbors stated that he did not trust the government, that he was a Vietnam vet, and that he had PTSD,” Byrd said. “He was standoffish, didn’t socialize or have any contact with anybody. He was a survivalist type.”

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