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After days of standoff, small Alabama town sees child hostage released safely, abductor dead

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    Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen answers questions from the media about the close of the hostage crisis during a news conference late Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, in Midland City, Ala. Authorities stormed an underground bunker Monday in Midland City, freeing the 5-year-old boy and leaving his captor dead after a week of fruitless negotiations that left authorities convinced the child was in imminent danger. (AP Photo/AL.com, Jay Hare)The Associated Press

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    Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen answers questions from the media about the close of the hostage crisis during a news conference late Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, in Midland City, Ala. Authorities stormed an underground bunker Monday in Midland City, freeing the 5-year-old boy and leaving his captor dead after a week of fruitless negotiations that left authorities convinced the child was in imminent danger. (AP Photo/AL.com, Jay Hare)The Associated Press

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    Armed law enforcement personnel station themselves near the property of Jimmy Lee Sykes, Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 in Midland City, Ala. Officials say they stormed a bunker in Alabama to rescue a 5-year-old child being held hostage there after Sykes, his abductor, was seen with a gun. (AP Photo/AL.com, Joe Songer)The Associated Press

  • bc77ba173e769704280f6a7067004fa7.jpg

    Law enforcement personnel station themselves on the property of Jimmy Lee Sykes, Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 in Midland City, Ala. Officials say they stormed a bunker in Alabama to rescue a 5-year-old child being held hostage there after Sykes, his abductor, was seen with a gun. (AP Photo/AL.com, Joe Songer)The Associated Press

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    A sign posted on a tree in front of the Midland City Town Hall on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 asks for prayers and a safe rescue for a boy named Ethan who was taken hostage last week. Authorities stormed an underground bunker Monday in Alabama, freeing the 5-year-old boy who had been held hostage in the tiny underground shelter and leaving the boy's abductor dead. (AP Photo/The Dothan Eagle, Jay Hare)The Associated Press

Officials say a 5-year-old boy has been safely freed after officers stormed an underground bunker in Alabama and shot his 65-year-old armed captor to death.

Authorities said agents rescued the child Monday from an increasingly agitated gunman, Jimmy Lee Dykes, fearing the child was facing imminent danger.

Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said Dykes was armed when officers entered the bunker. Officials say Dykes seized the child from a crowded school bus Jan. 29 after fatally shooting the driver.

Olson declined to say how Dykes died.

But a Midland City official, citing information from law enforcement officials, said police had shot Dykes. The official requested anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

Many questions remained unanswered Tuesday about how the standoff was ended.

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