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FBI: Alabama boy's captor killed in firefight

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. -- The man who held a 5-year-old boy captive for nearly a week engaged in a firefight with SWAT agents storming his underground bunker before he was killed during the rescue operation, the FBI said Tuesday night.

Bomb technicians scouring Jimmy Lee Dykes' rural property since the raid found two explosive devices, one in the bunker, one in a plastic pipe that negotiators used to communicate with the 65-year-old.

Officers killed Dykes on Monday, an official in Midland City said. The bunker raid came six days after Dykes boarded a school bus, fatally shot the driver and abducted the boy, who by all accounts was unharmed.

Dykes "reinforced the bunker against any attempted entry by law enforcement," FBI Special Agent Jason Pack said in an email. The devices found were "disrupted," he said, though he did not say whether that meant they were detonated or disarmed. Officers will continue today to sweep the 100-acre property and investigate more thoroughly, Pack said.

The boy, identified only as Ethan, appeared to be doing well at a hospital in nearby Dothan, acting like a normal kid. He was running around, playing with a toy dinosaur and other action figures, eating a turkey sandwich and watching "SpongeBob SquarePants," relatives and Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said.

"We know he's OK physically, but we don't know how he is mentally," Betty Jean Ransbottom, the boy's grandmother, told The Associated Press. She added that she feared the ordeal would stay with the child, who turns 6 today.

An FBI agent had been staying with the family, and relatives learned of the child's rescue after another agent at the scene called the person who was with them.

For days, officers passed food, medicine, toys and other items into the bunker, which was similar to a tornado shelter and apparently had running water, heat and cable.

On Monday, authorities said, Dykes had a gun and appeared increasingly agitated, though it's unclear exactly how his behavior changed. Negotiations were deteriorating.

Pack said authorities using high-tech surveillance equipment saw that Dykes had a gun.

Agents stormed the bunker, whisking the boy to safety and leaving Dykes dead. No officers or agents were hurt, Pack said.

"For the first time in almost a week, I woke up this morning to the most beautiful sight . . . my sweet boy," Ethan's mother said in a statement released by authorities. "I can't describe how incredible it is to hold him again."

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