MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (WALA) - A group of bus drivers from Escambia County, Florida, made arrangements to travel to southeast Alabama on Sunday to attend the funeral of a school bus driver shot and killed near Midland City.
Three students who knew Charles "Chuck" Poland read aloud letters at the bus driver's funeral on Feb. 3.
One of the students described Poland as the nicest man she had met. She said she's going to be just like him. Another recalled him greeting each child as they clamored onto his bus, and remembered Poland bringing them water when it was hot outside.
"He was a good bus driver and he was a good hero he really saved all the children," said Daira Jones, who'd had Poland as a substitute bus driver.
There wasn't a dry eye in the civic center.
Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said a group of about 30 county school bus drivers were planned to attend the funeral, and they left from Pensacola the morning of Feb. 3.
Rob Doss, Director of Transportation said, "Without a doubt for everyone there — those who are and are not drivers — very moving and touching anytime you in the company of a hero as Mr. Poland was, it's going to touch you."
Those in attendance wrapped their arms around one another, some children clung to stuffed animals and all faces in sight had tears rolling down their cheeks as they remembered a man who is being called a hero.
Some lifted their hands high, others bowed their heads. All joined together in song, standing to sing the hymn "Amazing Grace."
Poland was shot four times. Officials say he died died protecting his students.
Hostage situation continues
In the meantime, Sunday was day six of a standoff connected to Poland's shooting death between his alleged shooter, Jimmy Lee Dykes, and Alabama authorities.
Dykes is holed up in a bunker outside his Midland City home with a 5-year-old child. Police said Dykes took the boy from the school bus after killing Poland.
Some Mount Vernon residents were on their way home from the grocery store when they said they were caught in the middle of a gun fight.
Friends are shocked by the murder of a woman who used to call Mobile home. Atlanta investigators say 43-year-old Pamela Williams was shot during a home invasion robbery Saturday, November 30. She died Monday.
People who live in four neighborhoods near the proposal Blue Creek Coal Terminal are circulating petitions, hoping to convince the Mobile Planning Commission to not approve a permit for the facility.
Mobile Planning Commission scheduled to talk about a new subdivision application for McGowin Park, near Hank Aaron Stadium.
Gov. Robert Bentley said Alabama will be among the states submitting a proposal next week to build Boeing's new 777X aircraft, and the proposal will stress more than just the money the state is offering.