Jimmy Lee Dykes moved to a rural Alabama neighborhood on a rutted red clay road more than a year ago. It didn’t take long before he had developed a frightening reputation as a volatile man with anti-government views who threatened his neighbors at gunpoint and was viciously violent to wandering pets.
Multiple neighbors said Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, was the man suspected of boarding a school bus near his home, killing the driver and taking a 5-year-old boy hostage to begin a standoff that entered its second full day Thursday.
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Asked about Dykes, neighbors said he was a man who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun.
He had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to answer charges he shot at his neighbors in a dispute last month over a speed bump.
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“He’s very paranoid,” her husband said. “He goes around in his yard at night with a flashlight and shotgun.”
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MyFoxAl.com reports that law enforcement sources say that Dykes is a “survivalist” who stocked his bunker with food and other materials to lengthen his time below ground.
Dykes is believed to be a Vietnam War veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the report.