Midland City, Ala. (CNN) -- A man boarded a school bus in Alabama, police said, shot the driver, took a 6-year-old boy hostage and hours later was still holding the child in an underground bunker early Wednesday.
The incident started Tuesday afternoon and continued early Wednesday morning with authorities still desperately trying to free the young child.
Late in the evening Tuesday, the man had the child in some sort of underground bunker or storm shelter, and authorities were communicating with him through a PVC pipe, CNN affiliate WSFA reported.
"We will continue to work diligently through the night in an effort to bring closure to this incident as quickly as possible," the Dale County Sheriff's Department said at 11 p.m. CT.
Hours later, the hostage situation was still ongoing, WSFA reported. More than 13 hours after the ordeal had began, the child was still underground.
Adding to the tension was the fact that the child needs medication that has to be taken daily, CNN affiliate WDHN reported.
Overnight authorities were able to send the child's medication down the pipe in to the bunker and also determine that the boy had not been physically harmed, WDHN reported.
The incident started at about 3:40 p.m. CT near a church in Midland City, Alabama, in the southeastern corner of the state.
Michael Senn, a local pastor, told WSFA that he spoke to several students who had been on the bus.
He said a girl described the shooter getting aboard.
"He told most of them to get off the bus," Senn related. "And then he grabbed a little boy and shot the bus driver four times."