A sign seen Feb. 7 in front of Midland City Town Hall, welcomes Ethan Gilman back home after the young boy was rescued. / Jay Hare, AP
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The mother of an Alabama boy snatched off a school bus and held hostage in an underground bunker for days said her son witnessed officers fatally shooting his kidnapper.
Jennifer Kirkland's comments about her son, whom authorities identified only as Ethan, came in an interview with psychologist Phil McGraw for an episode of the Dr. Phil Show set to air Wednesday.
Ethan and his mother have not made any public appearances or comments since the incident.
In a promotional clip posted online, Kirkland said her 6-year-old son saw officers shoot the gunman identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65.
"He says, 'The Army came in and shot the bad man,'" Kirkland said.
Dykes shot and killed Ethan's school bus driver Jan. 29 before grabbing the child off the bus and taking him into an underground shelter constructed on his rural property near Midland City in southeast Alabama.
The FBI said agents wearing combat gear entered Dykes' bunker on the sixth day of the standoff Feb. 4. Dykes was shot multiple times, a coroner said.
Ethan wasn't physically injured, but his mother said he has had a difficult time sleeping, and she is worried about him.
"I'm scared of how he's going to take getting on a bus," she said.
Kirkland said she wanted to swap places with her son during the standoff but wasn't allowed to. It wasn't clear in the promotional excerpt whether she made a formal offer to Dykes.
"I wanted to be there," Kirkland said.
Authorities have said they might never know why Dykes shot driver Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, and took the boy off the bus.
Dykes was due in court the day after the standoff began for a hearing on a menacing case filed in December. Neighbors say he fired a gun at them. Neighbors and acquaintances described Dykes as having strong feelings against the government.
Contributing: Sebastian Kitchen, The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser
Copyright 2015 USATODAY.com
Read the original story: Son saw shooting of Ala. standoff suspect, mother says