Pastor 'extremely happy' with resolution to hostage standoff

Expresses regret over loss of life


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," February 4, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: This is a Fox News alert. And moments ago, we heard from law enforcement and authorities in the field in Alabama regarding the release of the 5-year-old little boy who has been held captive for seven days in Alabama.

Let's go to Fox News' Jonathan Serrie for the very latest.

JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS: Kimberly, certainly some significant developments here. Mid- afternoon, people at the press site heard some sort of a boom. At the time, we couldn't tell whether it was gun fire an explosion or simply a truck door shutting. But it got everybody's attention. We started heeding over, looking across the street at the police command post there, saw a lot of activity heading up towards the hill behind me.

The bunker we keep referencing is actually just over the hill behind me. You can't see it from our live location. Throughout this ordeal, law enforcement maintaining a wide perimeter because, well, it was assumed that this man, because he had electricity and a television down in his bunker, it was entirely possible that he was watching television and could see what was going on. And so, no one in law enforcement wanted to tip their hand as to what exactly was going on.

They tried to negotiate with this man Jimmy Lee Dykes who was holding this 5-year-old hostage coming up on seven days after a shooting on the little boy's school bus where a gunman boarded the bus demanding hostages, and taking this little boy after shooting his bus driver to death and then keeping him hostage in this underground bunker.

Discussions were going on, speaking through a 4-inch diameter PVC pipes. Jimmy Lee Dykes apparently allowed authorities to lower comfort items such as toys and medications, snacks down to the little boy. But this afternoon something started heading south.

We have -- we want to show you now a sound bite from a news conference that occurred minutes ago. Listen.


STEVE RICHARDSON, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: At approximately 3:12 this afternoon, FBI agents safely recovered the child who has been held hostage for nearly a week. Within the past 24-hours, negotiations deteriorated and Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun. At this point, FBI agents fearing the child was in imminent danger entered the bunker and rescued the child. The child appears physically unharmed and is being treated at a local hospital. The subject is deceased.


SERRIE: So again, the suspect in this case is dead. The little boy apparently OK, but being checked out as a precaution at a local hospital.

I want to bring in Pastor Michael Senn who has been a frequent guest through out the ordeal and has his hand on the pulse of this community.

What can you tell us? What are your thoughts at this point?

PASTOR MICHAEL SENN: Well, it's almost like a breath of -- a relief I guess you would say that this thing has finally come to an end. We're not happy there had to be more bloodshed. Of course, a loss of anybody's life is a tragic thing.

But extremely happy and thankful to God, thankful to authorities, everyone who's had a part in bringing this boy home safe. That's the most important thing, to get this little boy back to his family.

SERRIE: And I know you don't have direct contact with the boy's family, but you are friends of the pastor who does. Knowing what you know about the family now that the boy is being reunited, what do they need at this point?

SENN: Well, right now, emotionally they have got to be on the greatest high they have ever been on. I would assume it's like a 4-year-old on Christmas morning but a whole lot better to be able to hear the news that their child is going to be reunited with them.

But I know that for, you know, the next several weeks and months, probably they'll still need a lot of love and a lot of comfort and a lot of friendship. And I think when they actually get out of seclusion, which is really what they have been in trying to get through this ordeal, they're going to see that this whole nation has stood behind them and stood behind Ethan and I think it's going to be a great comfort knowing that everyone's prayers has been therefore answered.

SERRIE: They are reunited with their child. Sadly, we can't say the same for the family of Charles Poland, Jr., that bus driver who lost his life -- by all accounts trying to protect his children from that gunman who came on board.

Tell me about what you are hearing from the community. There really has been an outpouring of sentiment toward the bus driver and his family.

SENN: Well, everywhere you go around the Midland City area, and you're going to see signs, "Rest in Peace, Mr. Charles Poland." We attended his funeral yesterday. It was a wonderful celebration of life rather than talking his death.

From everything that we understand from people that we know who was good friends with him, he was one of the cream of the crop, I guess you could say. A great man that loved God and loved his family and loved those kids on the bus.

And when a person like this is snatched out of a community, sure there's going to be a loss.

SERRIE: Pastor Michael Senn, thank you very much. And glad we can report some good news about this little boy.

Also, Kimberly, I want to tell you. We have received a written statement from Robert Bentley, the governor of Alabama. He says, quote, "I am thankful that the child who was abducted is now safe. I am so happy that this little boy can now be reunited with his family and friends. We will all continue to pray for the little boy and his family as they recover from the trauma of the last several days."

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