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Boy in hole with gunman heard crying for relatives

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-31 17:06:45-05

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (WTVR) -- Negotiators say they have heard the little boy who's being held hostage in rural Alabama crying for his relatives.

Fox News reports negotiators have been talking through a four-inch-wide ventilation pipe to a man holding the five-year-old in an underground shelter.

Mayor Virgil Skipper told Fox News Thursday that his heart he knows that Jimmy Lee Dykes won't do any harm to the boy.

Skipper says the little boy has some special needs -- and that he doesn’t know exactly what’s going on. The mayor says he thinks the shooter will eventually release the boy  unharmed.

Additionally, Skipper says residents are saying the shooter may have a disability -- and that he has yet to ask for anything.

The standoff entered its second full day Thursday after authorities said a gunman pulled the boy off a school bus and killed the driver Tuesday.

The police chief of the adjacent town of Pinckard, James Arrington, says that the two are in a bunker that's about four feet underground and has about six-by-eight feet of floor space.

He says the man identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes has been sleeping some.

The chief also says the man holds strong anti-government views and the FBI has reason to believe the shooting of the driver was a hate crime.