Standoff Drags Into Third Day as Man Holds Boy in Underground Bunker
Authorities have not released the name of the suspected gunman. But neighbors and news outlets around Midland City identified him as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, a Vietnam veteran and a retired truck driver.
Neighbor Jimmy Davis told CNN that Dykes began digging a hole on his property soon after he moved in down the road from him.
Davis, who works a night shift, said Dykes worked on his bunker in the middle of the night — every other night, between 2 and 3 a.m., for a year and a half.
He was friendly and welcoming and told Davis the hole would be a storm shelter.
But Tim Byrd, chief investigator with the Dale County Sheriff’s Office, told the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch that Dykes had “anti-America” views.
“His friends and his neighbors stated that he did not trust the government, that he was a Vietnam vet, and that he had PTSD,” Byrd told the civil rights group. “He was standoffish, didn’t socialize or have any contact with anybody. He was a survivalist type.”