Audio from inside the school bus stormed by Jimmy Lee Dykes in February of this year captures driver Charles Poland's brave refusal to hand over children.
"Sorry, you're going to have to shoot me," Poland told Dykes, a man he thought was his friend. Moments later Poland was dead and Dykes ran off with 5-year-old Ethan Gilman.
65-year-old war veteran Dykes boarded a Dale County, Ala., school bus on Jan. 29 and demanded two children. The audio from the bus surveillance tape, aired on ABC News, shows how the incident unfolded.
"I need two boys 6 to 8 years old," Dykes, armed with a handgun, demanded. "Six to eight years old. I mean it. Right now! Right now!"
Poland refused. "I can't do it," he responded.
“Do it!” Dykes shouted.
"Sorry, you're going to have to shoot me."
"How about I shoot a kid then," Dykes replied.
“No,” Poland said.
“Do it! Do it!” Dykes shouted.
"It's my responsibility to keep these kids on the bus. I can't turn them over to somebody else," said Poland.
There were 21 children on board.
“I can’t help that,” Dykes said. “Come here kid,” he said turning to the children.
Dykes then tried to take Ethan, who was sitting directly behind the driver. Poland put himself between Ethan and the gun.
A 15-year-old student on the bus, Tre’ Watts, called 911 as the children around him cowered behind bus seats.
“He is asking for kids,” Watts said on the 911 call.
Screaming can be heard as Poland was shot and killed.
“The bus driver is dead,” said Watts.
Authorities recovered the boy from Dykes' 6 by 8-foot tornado bunker on Feb. 4. Dykes was killed during an exchange of gunfire. The motive for the crime was never made clear. Dykes was apparently deeply paranoid and believed there was some kind of national or even global conspiracy.
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