When armed Vietnam veteran Jimmy Lee Dykes stormed onto an Alabama bus in January and demanded that two young boys leave with him, bus driver Charles Poland refused to surrender.
And he paid the price.
Dykes shot the man in front of all the kids, then stormed back off the bus, dragging 5-year-old Ethan Gilman with him, reports Reuters.
Following a week of anti-government tirades over the phone to negotiators, the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team decided it was time to take action.
As the pictures show, the entrance into the bunker is a steep ladder-like set of stairs. The entire area was only 6 feet by 8 feet, dug 12-feet into the ground.
That type of configuration left the FBI HRT with few options. Reuters reports that they eventually opted to use a flash bang to stun Dykes. It’s the only move they had really, any other type of grenade or gas might have hurt the boy.
Then, though the FBI declined to get into detail, it’s likely that only one or two men attempted to descend the stairs.
Dykes was brandishing a gun, according to authorities, and was most certainly stunned.
A flashbang grenade issues a loud report and bright flash, thus the name “flashbang.” The report leaves the ears ringing, and the flash dazzles the eyes. Its effects are temporary, but last long enough for operators to get the drop on perpetrators.
Generally, these grenades have a 10-second fuse. The fuse can be “cooked” though — when operators pull the safeties and let it burn for a few seconds — so that as soon as it hits the ground, it explodes.
The tactic, if used, would likely have left Dykes with little time to react.
The standoff ended with FBI HRT members shooting and killing Dykes.
The FBI HRT teams have been involved in a number of high-visibility domestic operations lately, to include the hunt for the Boston Bomber and a incident in upstate New York when a man holed himself up inside an abandoned bar.
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