65-year old Vietnam vet, who was due in court to answer a firearms charge, is still holding a 5 year old first-grader with ADHD and Asperger's syndrome in an underground self-made bunker in the Alabama/Florida panhandle community of Midland. Neighbors describe the gunman, who shot down the boy's school bus driver Wednesday before taking the boy hostage at gunpoint, as a "doomsday prepper."
The gunman stormed into the school bus Tuesday afternoon and demanded that the driver hand him a child.The suspect:
The driver, 66-year-old Charles Poland Jr., was a gentle Bible-reading man who could not stand to discipline the children on his bus because it hurt his heart, the Dothan Eagle newspaper reported.
When he refused the demand, police said, the gunman shot him several times as 22 horrified children scrambled for cover.
But the man was able to grab the boy and drag him to his underground bunker.
And the standoff began.
"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."Such familiar themes: PTSD, doomsday prepping, distrust of the government. How many of these are going to pop out of the woodwork, guns blazing, before we realize the extent of the gun problem in America? And how many innocent lives lost or put at risk?
UPDATE: OMG reclisted - thanks so much guys, this is only my second time in forever! I'm worried about that kid, which is why I posted this and no one else had posted a diary on it. I hope they get him out!