The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

February 7, 2013

Experts warn of long recovery for boy in bunker

(Continued)

"We have psychiatrists, therapists, case managers who work with children in their home," she said.

A neighborhood friend described Ethan as being friendly and playful before the hostage drama, and authorities said they were able to provide him with toy cars, crayons and coloring books during the standoff. Kaslow said those descriptions were signs of normal behavior that could help him recover.

Authorities said the standoff began a week ago Tuesday when Dykes boarded a bus full of children and gunned down driver Charles Albert Poland Jr. as he sought to protect the 21 children on board. According to officials, the gunman then seized the boy, and fled with his hostage to the nearby bunker.

Authorities said Thursday that Dykes was shot multiple times during the shootout with FBI agents and his body has been taken to a state lab for an autopsy.

The FBI said it was still at the bunker but hoped to be done soon so residents could get back to their homes.

"We came in as uninvited guests and the entire community has welcomed us like neighbors who have known each other for a long time. We will never be able to thank them enough," said Steve Richardson, head of the FBI's office in Mobile.

Officials hope to eventually throw an event to celebrate Ethan's birthday and recovery, but family members of the boy told AP they were not yet ready.

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