Alabama gunman fatally shoots school bus driver, abducts 6-year-old student, authorities say

Deputies negotiating with gunman holding child

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. - An unidentified man boarded an Alabama school bus, shot the driver several times, then escaped with a 6-year-old student, prompting an hourslong standoff with police that remained unresolved early Wednesday.

The Dale County Sheriff told WBMA-TV  that the man shot the driver in Midland City on Tuesday after he refused to let the child off the bus. The driver later died of his wounds. His identity wasn't released.

The shooter took the child to an area behind a nearby church, and police were negotiating with him, authorities said.

Sheriff's deputies and police officers swarmed the scene.

The shooting happened at 3:36 p.m. EST at Destiny Church, located on U.S. 231. After the shooting, authorities escorted at least seven children from the bus, which was parked in front of the church, according to the Dothan Eagle.

Carol Shepard, whose daughter was on the bus at the time, told the Eagle her daughter said that a male neighbor who lives by them on Private Road 1539 got onto the school bus, shot the bus driver and then left with the 6-year-old child.

Authorities from multiple agencies were on the scene and nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure, said Rachel David, a spokeswoman for the police department in the nearby town of Dothan.