MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (February 3, 2013)--As the hostage standoff in rural Alabama entered its sixth day Sunday, more details were emerging about the man at the center of it, whom neighbors and officials describe as a loner with few friends and no close family.
Authorities say Jim Lee Dykes, 65, gunned down a school bus driver and then abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus, taking him to an underground bunker on his property.
Dykes is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, but after leaving the military, Dykes had some scrapes with the law, including a 1995 arrest for improper exhibition of a weapon, a misdemeanor that was later dismissed.
Neighbors described Dykes as a man who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property, and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a firearm.
Meanwhile a funeral service is scheduled Sunday for the slain bus driver, Charles Albert Poland, Jr.
Poland is remembered for his acts of kindness, from fixing someone's tractor to tilling the garden of a neighbor who'd had a heart attack, and for his heroism in trying to protect the children on his school bus last Tuesday.