NewsNation | February 04, 2013
>>> the hostage standoff in alabama. now entering its seventh day. police on the scene said moments ago they're doing, quote, everything humanly possible to bring 5-year-old ethan home. ethan is still being held in a small underground bunker . he turns 6 this week making an already sad situation worse. a surveillance aircraft is flown over the rural property belonging to the man suspected of killing a bus driver before taking the boy. we have the latest on the situation. so gabe, what's the update from the ground now?
>> reporter: hi, tamron . that news conference just wrapped up a short time ago and for the first time local sheriff seemed to acknowledge that jimmy lee dykes did have a demand of sort. he wanted the complex story told and the sheriff did not explain on how he wants it told and all he would say is police and hostage negotiators trying to create a civil environment for him to do so. sheriff jones said they're engaged with him around the clock and most communications in the day. this standoff dragged on for about 140 hours now and started last week, last tuesday when he allegedly boarded the stopped school bus and demanded two kids police say. and when the bus driver , charles poland, objected, he allegedly shot the bus driver and then made off with 5-year-old ethan who has a mild form of autism and in this underground bunker since last tuesday. about 40 hours and the mood here has somewhat changed and seemed to be tense at beginning. now it seems to be a slow method call approach that police are taking trying to create a civil environment for him to talk to negotiators. now, today we're also hearing that neighbors are collecting cards for 5-year-old ethan . his birthday is this week. and many of them are praying for his safe release at this moment. tamron ?
>> thank you. let's bring in former fbi profiler and nbc analyst clint van zant . gabe said they're trying to create a civil environment. when's the strategy there?
>> one of the things that has a hostage negotiator i would try to use as a hook is this little boy 's 6th birthday which is wednesday and work very hard -- now realize he has a grown daughter so he is a parent even though he's allegedly estranged from his grown daughter and saying that he needs to be home with the family and jimmy lee , we need you to help. number one, get him home for the birthday and let's get you out so you can tell your story to the media and everybody could understand what drove you to this point.
>> and we see this often, clint , where individuals who act out this way want their story told or they go on to the blogs we have seen in the past or even have writings on their facebook page. in this case, gabe says he has this veiled demand that he wants his complex story told. how do you convince him that his story will be told once he is out of there and ethan is safe with his family?
>> you have to build the trust between the negotiator and the hostage taker. this psychological umbilical cord that a negotiator creates between him or her self and the hostage taker where everything that comes to jimmy lee he will believe because i've talked to him for a week and everything else i've said is true and that, you know, tamron , i have had people come out before in a hostage situation , i say if you come out now, you can tell your story on the 6:00 and the 10:00 news. if you wait an hour, you can only tell it on the 10:00 news and had them come out early just with the idea that they could tell their story twice.
>> okay. i believe we spoke with you the day after ethan had been taken, theory was authorities had time on their side, perhaps they could wait this man out even though we have had reports that he had food and supplies and light and power and be able to stay down there. looking at the situation, is that really still the only option continue to wait and try to keep the line, the um bell call cord of communication, going here, clibt?
>> you know, tamron , if you were the agent in charge, i would say, look, boss, here. we have a cost benefit analysis of. is there any reason to go in today, tactically, opposed to two days ago or two days from now? has the threat to the little boy 's life increased? if not, let's not do anything that's going to -- going to get him hurt and you as the on-scene commander have to make that decision, hopefully we all work together and make the right decision.
>> all right. clint van zant . before you go, have you seen anything like this before? does this compare to anything in the past?
>> sure. i was involved in one where we had a 5-year-old boy, same age and his mother kidnapped and that situation had to resolve it tactically. i was at waco. that was 51 days. probably the longest hostage sh situation in america. there's no set number of days and as long as the threat did not increase, that little boy is safe right now. we don't with a to do anything to change that. and hopefully use the talking cure and let negotiations resolve this.
>> clint van zant , thank you very much.