Man Fatally Shoots School Bus Driver In Alabama, Takes Boy Hostage

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January 30, 2013 8:29 PM EST

An identified man was holding a boy hostage in an underground bunker in Alabama after shooting the driver of a school bus fatally Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.  

The standoff between the gunman and the police was continuing even in the early hours of Wednesday, and the authorities were negotiating with the gunman to free the child.

The incident happened near a church in Midland City, Alabama, Tuesday afternoon when the gunman boarded the bus carrying the school children.

The man reportedly asked all the children except the boy to get off the bus and grabbed the little one. The man shot at the driver of the bus four times when the latter tried to save the child. The attacker then carried the kid to a nearby underground bunker, CNN reported.

The driver later succumbed to his injuries.

The authorities were desperately trying to free the child and the negotiations were going on late in the night. The police evacuated the nearby houses for security reasons.  

"We will continue to work diligently through the night in an effort to bring closure to this incident as quickly as possible," the Dale County Sheriff's Department told CNN at 11 p.m. CT.

The authorities had not released the details of the hostage but the sheriff’s office confirmed the presence of a child at the scene.

Meanwhile, CBS News reported that all the schools in the area would remain closed Wednesday.

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