The seven-day hostage situation that gripped a nation is finally over, with a relatively happy ending.
Jimmy Lee Dykes, who held a 5-year-old special-needs boy hostage in an underground bunker for seven days, is dead.
And the child is alive.
BREAKING NEWS: A U.S. official says Alabama hostage situation is over: kidnapped child is alive, kidnapper is dead cbsn.ws
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 4, 2013
At a brief press conference, held at 5:30 p.m. EST, FBI Special Agent Steve Richardson revealed that "negotiations deteriorated" in the past 24 hours, and Dykes was seen holding a gun. At 3:12 p.m. local time (4:12 p.m. EST), FBI agents stormed the bunker and rescued the child. Richardson did not say that agents shot Dykes — but he did say that Dykes is dead.
Fox News reported that people near the bunker heard two large "booms" about an hour ago.
According to WSFA 12, local authorities reported that the child was in "imminent danger" and they "felt they had to act."
WBRC4 is reporting that State Representative Steve Clouse has been quoted as saying the boy — referred to as "Ethan," who turns 6 on February 6 — is "okay."
Dykes, a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran, has held the child in the bunker in Midland City, Alabama, for seven days — after the suspect stormed a passing school bus, shot the bus driver dead, and abducted the boy.
A photo of an ambulance leaving the scene was tweeted by local @WSFA12News:
The governor tweeted the news:
Shortly after 3:00 pm, I was informed that law enforcement had breached the bunker, the child was
safe and the abductor was killed.
— Gov.Robert Bentley (@GovernorBentley) February