Neighbor: Suspect acted unusual

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (WALA) — A neighbor of the Midland City shooting suspect said the neighborhood turned crime scene was generally quiet and safe before the tragic hostage situation.

But James Davis said things began to change when he noticed the suspect acting unusual.

“After about the third month, when I seen him outside at 2, 3 o’clock in the morning with a flash light digging dirt and stuff, I knew that something was up,” said Davis.

Davis said he believes the suspect was working on an underground bunker. Authorities said a 5-year-old boy is being held hostage in the manmade bunker.

Davis said the suspect acted more and more out of place as time went on.

“And then when I started hearing about him shooting his gun at dogs and stuff trying to beat them with pipes, that’s when I knew he was kind of a… he don’t need to be living here on this dirt road,” said Davis.

Davis said his relationship grew tense with the suspect.

“(It got to) where he would like stare a hole through me when I come down the road; just wouldn’t stop staring,” said Davis.

Davis said he had a court date, set for Wednesday, January 30, with the suspect after a violent altercation. He said the suspect was facing menacing charges.

The mayor of Midland City hopes for a peaceful end to the situation.

“This shooter. if he has a heart at all, he will let this kid go,” said Virgil Skipper.

The incident started on January 29, when investigators said a man stormed the bus and demanded two children between the ages of 6 and 8. When the bus driver didn’t comply, the suspect shot him numerous times.

The bus driver, who has been identified as Charles Poland, died from his injuries.

Investigators said the suspect then grabbed a child and took him to a manmade, underground bunker on a mobile home property.

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Alabama (change)

Known as the “Heart of Dixie,” Alabama has a population of over 4.6 million residents. Montgomery is the capital city. Other major cities include Birmingham, Mobile, and Huntsville.
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