TODAY | February 01, 2013
>>> new information this morning on that tense standoff in alabama where a man holding a 5-year-old hostage in his underground bunker since tuesday afternoon. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in mid dms land city, alabama , this morning. good morning to you.
>> reporter: good morning, sav savannah. the intense standoff is now entering its fourth day. police are being very cautious, saying the boy is unharmed. now we're hearing from the family of the murdered bus driver for the first time. up this dirt road , police and s.w.a.t. teams are closely watching an underground bunker . in it, a 5-year-old hostage and a man who police say opened fire on a school bus .
>> the past few days have not been easy on anybody.
>> reporter: the suspect is 65-year-old jimmy lee dike, a loner who distrusts the government. the boy is described only as ethan. the two are holed up underground in a four by six feet bunker, said to be full of supplies, including a television.
>> he may have something to say and he wants people to hear him. not sure what that is, but i don't think he intends to hurt that little boy .
>> reporter: hostage negotiators have been talking to him through a pvc pipe and he has allowed police to send medicine and coloring books for the boy down that pipe.
>> as long as you can measure that, there's no need to move this forward and perhaps get someone hurt.
>> reporter: it all started tuesday when police say that he boarded a school bus , demanding two random children. the driver refused and that's when he allegedly shot and killed poland and made off with ethan. aaron poland and his sister, lidia, are the son and daughter of the bus driver . they want the world to know their father died a hero.
>> every time a child got on my dad's bus, they were no longer their parents, they were his. he considered them his children. and i know that's the reason why my dad took those shots for his children, just like he would do for me and my sister.
>> reporter: they say their father wasn't the type to back down.
>> my daddy was not just a hero on tuesday. my daddy was a hero my whole life. he was my hero.
>> reporter: this standoff has dragged on for more than 60 hours now. several schools in the area remain closed as this town prays for a peaceful resolution. savannah?
>> gabe gutierrez in midland city, alabama . now here's matt.