Standoff: Man shoots Ala. bus driver, takes child

9:04 AM, Jan 30, 2013   |    comments
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MIDLAND CITY, Ala. -- A man fatally shot the driver of a school bus in Alabama and fled with a 6-year-old child passenger, holding him Wednesday in an underground bunker behind a church during a night-long standoff with police, authorities and reports said.

The Dale County Sheriff told WBMA-TV that the man shot the driver in Midland City on Tuesday afternoon when he refused to let the child off the bus. The driver later died of his wounds. His identity wasn't released.

Michael Senn, a local minister, told WSFA-TV that one girl who was on the bus said the gunman man ordered most of the students off the vehicle. He then grabbed a young boy and shot the bus driver four times, Senn said.

He told WSFA that one 13-year-old on the bus was "really traumatized" by the incident.

Alabama State troopers, a SWAT team and FBI agents quickly converged nearby.

Authorities communicated with the gunman through a PVC pipe connected to the bunker, WSFA reported.

WDHN-TV reporter Josh Rultenberg told CNN Wednesday that the 65-year-old suspect had been building the bunker for several months and had enough food inside to stay for four months.

Nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure, said Rachel David, a spokeswoman for the police department in the nearby town of Dothan.

"Authorities also confirmed the presence of a child at the scene but are giving no further information at this time," David said in a news release late Tuesday.

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