Overcast and damp this early Wednesday morning along California’s northern coast, quiet and seemingly not a creature stirring out there.
Maybe a couple hundred miles north of here, and a couple of hours ago, a 5.3 earthquake shook the Oregon coast, and although no damage was reported and I sure didn’t feel it, the reality of shakers, especially one this size, scares the living shit out of me.
This be earthquake country, honey.
And right now, even as I tap my laptop keys, there’s a horrific incident ongoing on in my former own neck of the woods — ‘gun country‘ of southeast Alabama. Some old, deranged asshole shot and killed a school bus driver yesterday afternoon, then took a special-needs 6-year-old kid hostage, and has been ever since secluded in a home-made bunker, corresponding with the FBI via a PVC tube.
(Illustration found here).
Details and background are still pretty sketchy, but apparently this guy has some issues.
Some factoids from The Atlantic (local paper — The Dothan Eagle — is shitty):
Police and FBI negotiators are still in a standoff with a man who murdered a school bus driver before kidnapping a six-year-old child and holing up in an underground shelter.
The trouble began on Tuesday afternoon, when the suspect boarded a bus in Midland City, in southeastern Alabama, and attempted to remove two children.
When the driver intervened, the man shot him several times before taking one child and escaping to his home, where he hid in a “homemade bomb shelter” on his property.
The bus driver died later from gunshot wounds.
Officials have provided few details about the suspect and his relationship to the child, but CNN reports that the child may have special needs (possibly autism) and is on medication.
They also report that the suspect has a history of mental problems and run-ins with the law.
A local newspaper, The Dothan Eagle, identified the man as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes.
He was reportedly facing a court hearing today on a charge of a “menacing” after an arrest last month.
The other unknown issue is the nature of the shelter, which has been variously described as a bunker, a storm shelter, or a bomb shelter.
One of the man’s neighbors, Michael Creel, told The Eagle that, “Heâ€™s got a four-foot-wide, about six-foot-long, eight-foot-deep homemade bomb shelter. Itâ€™s got about three to four feet of sand on top of it. If you didnâ€™t know it was there, you wouldnâ€™t (notice it).”
The neighbors also say the suspect had working on the shelter for more than two years, and may have even stocked it with enough provision to last for months.
Creel said Dykes is a Vietnam veteran who is “the type that thinks the governmentâ€™s out to get him.
Heâ€™s not right in the head.â€
Via the Houston Chronicle:
Claudia Davis, who lives on the road where the standoff was taking place, said early Wednesday that she and her neighbors can’t leave because the one road was blocked by police.
Davis, 54, said she has had run-ins with the man suspected as the shooter.
“Before this happened I would see him at several places and he would just stare a hole through me,” Davis said.
“On Monday I saw him at a laundry mat and he seen me when I was getting in my truck and he just started and stared and stared at me.”
The Dothan Eagle did have a good story on the situation, but somehow lost it.
Reportedly, Dykes awaited a court appareance for trying to shoot some neighbors, who had inadvertently come onto his property.
A real-bad similar incident this past weekend in nearby Georgia — a wrong GPS route led to charges of murder:
An elderly Georgia missionary claims he shot a young man approaching his house this weekend because he feared a home invasion, but the victim’s friends say he was looking to pick up a pal to go skating and his GPS device took him to the wrong driveway.
“This was an unfortunate, tragic event and our department is in the process of investigating the incident,” Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley told ABCNews.com.
He told WSB-TV that they were going to pick up a girl who lived in the area to go ice skating when their GPS system took them to the wrong house.
The friends said that Sailors shot at the car when they were trying to leave.
I was born in nearby Pike County and my grand-dad ran a country store about 20 miles north of Midland on US 231 — this is the land of guns and guns and guns and more guns.
After we shoot and kill all of us, then we’ll be free.
And once again, the same old refrain of shootings and guns, this time, Midland Mayor Virgil Skipper: “It’s something you wouldn’t think would happen here. It’s stunned the community.”