MIDLAND CITY -- Illuminated by candlelight, Midland City residents gathered outside town hall on Friday night to show solidarity with the young boy being held in an underground bunker by a man who allegedly abducted him from a school bus on Tuesday after shooting the bus driver.
It’s the second night they’ve done this, and they intend to continue to meet, pray and hope until the boy, identified only as Ethan, is freed.
“A lot of places wouldn’t do this, but you had best believe Dale County is going to do this,” said Josh Tucker, an event organizer.
At the event, local residents prayed for the boy’s safety and shared details concerning what they could do to help support his family and the family of Charles Poland, the bus driver who died defending students after, according to witnesses, Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded the bus and demanded a hostage.
At the gathering, the mother of a young boy in Ethan’s kindergarten class spoke, describing the boy as a happy child who always has a hug for her son and who sits in the boy’s small group at school.
The mother declined to be identified, but her husband, James Stephens, said their child, Ethan and another boy at school are best friends.
“He’s very talkative, very adventurous,” Stephens said.
Stephens said the abduction has been difficult for his stepson and other classmates of Ethan’s.
“Anytime you try to talk about it he changes the subject,” Stephens said.