Alabama Hostage Stand-Off Comes to a Close, Five-Year-Old Boy Rescued Safely

The seven-day stand-off between a survivalist and Alabama and federal authorities has come to a close. Jimmy Lee Dykes, who kidnapped a five-year-old boy in Midland City after shooting his school bus driver last week, is dead; the boy he had kidnapped is alive.

Dykes, who has been described as a "survivalist," "disturbed" and "unstable," was holding the five-year-old named Ethan in an underground bunker since Jan. 29. Initially Dykes was cooperating with authorities, even letting authorities get medication to Ethan, who has ADD and Asperger's syndrome, through a PVC pipe. But Steve Richardson, a special agent in charge of the investigation, says communication broke down sometime early Monday. In the afternoon, he was seen holding a gun, which is when FBI agents forced their way into the bunker, killing Dykes.

"The child appears physically unharmed and is being treated at a local hospital," Richardson said while reading a prepared to reporters. He did not take any questions.

Neighbors say Dykes dug the bunker himself, saying it was a tornado shelter; the door was booby trapped.

Dykes' motives behind the killing and kidnapping remain unclear. However, there have been reports that Dykes initially told negotiators he'd trade Ethan for a chance to "tell his story."

Ethan turns six on Wednesday.

[Image via AP]