(KCEN) -- The family of the bus driver who was shot and killed protecting children last week in Alabama is now speaking out.
Charles Poland Jr was protecting the kids on his school bus when Jimmy Lee Dykes shot him and took a five-year old hostage for nearly a week.
Poland was buried on Sunday.
His son Aaron Poland said his dad lived for a purpose and died for a purpose.
The family says they've known for a long time Charles was a hero and it's just now that other people are seeing it.
Aaron said, "Every time my dad got on a bus, it wasn't for transporting somebody else's kids, it was his kids. He took them as his own. And I think that's the reason why my dad did what he did."
The Poland family says it brought them great happiness to know that Ethan is home.