Photos from the scene of the Alabama hostage crisis

February 6, 2013

The site of the bunker where Jimmy Dykes held a five-year-old hostage until a SWAT team rescued him on Monday. (FBI)

The Monday afternoon rescue of six-year-old Ethan, the boy held hostage in a closet-sized Alabama bunker for six days last week, unfolded like a scene from an action movie.

A four-person SWAT team lured the boy’s captor, Jimmy Lee Dykes, to the door of his underground shelter before dropping two flashbang devices on him. Dykes fired one shot, the SWAT team returned fire and killed him — pulling Ethan out unharmed.

But three days after the coordinated rescue operation, praised by everyone from the boy’s mother to President Obama, most of the details of the raid remain unclear.

We now know that the four-man SWAT team that rescued Ethan trained for days in a dummy bunker they built near the real one. We also know that law enforcement officials only chose to act after seeing Dykes become agitated and pick up a gun inside the bunker.

But it’s unclear how law enforcement saw that, exactly — though a Midland City official told the AP that police had a camera inside the bunker, they’ve released no details on what kind of camera it was or how it got there.

“It’s a technique we may want to use again, so we’re not being specific,” an unnamed official told NBC News.

Officials have also declined to speculate on Dykes’s motives for kidnapping the child, other than to say that they were “complex.” NBC reported Tuesday that Dykes demanded a TV interview; his other conditions, if there were any, have not been revealed.

The FBI has, however, released new photos of the scene. View them below:


The entrance to the bunker. The FBI put the blue tent up after the rescue to preserve evidence. (FBI)

Law enforcement used this pipe to communicate with Dykes during the standoff. (FBI)

Law enforcement near the scene after the rescue. (FBI)

 

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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