By Sharon Reich
MIDLAND CITY, Alabama (Reuters) - Bomb technicians searched for explosive devices Wednesday after two were found at the rural Alabama property where a man, who had held a young boy hostage in an underground bunker for nearly a week, was killed in a firefight with authorities Monday.
Investigators dismantled two explosive devices that were found Tuesday at the scene near Midland City in southeast Alabama, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said.
One device was inside the bunker where Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, had holed up for nearly a week with a 5-year-old boy he had randomly snatched off a school bus after killing the driver. The second device was in a plastic pipe Dykes had asked negotiators to use to communicate with him during the standoff.
No additional devices were spotted during the sweep that resumed on Wednesday, FBI agents said.
FBI agents stormed the homemade bunker and shot and killed Dykes on Monday after surveillance equipment showed him wielding a gun and looking agitated, law enforcement sources said. The boy was rescued unharmed.
A preliminary investigation indicated Dykes "engaged in a firefight" with SWAT team members who entered the bunker, the FBI said in a statement late Tuesday.
Dykes appeared to have reinforced the bunker to thwart entry attempts by law enforcement, agents said, without revealing further details.
The drama came against a backdrop of a heated debate about gun violence and school safety across the United States, following the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults in December by a gunman who had forced his way into a Connecticut elementary school.
The rescued Alabama boy, identified only as Ethan, turned 6 on Wednesday. Relieved residents posted signs around his hometown with messages such as "Happy Birthday Ethan" and "Welcome Home."
An online effort to send Ethan and his family to Disney World in Florida was close to reaching its $7,000 fundraising goal. Continued...