At about 8 a.m. on Wednesday, a police officer confronted an armed man on the campus of Dixon High School in Illinois, about 100 miles west of Chicago. Dixon City Manager Danny Langloss told local media that when the alleged shooter shot at the officer, the officer returned fire and struck the alleged gunman.

Suffering non-life-threatening injuries, the man is now under arrest. A report by SaukValley.com did not provide a name for the alleged shooter but did note that he is a 19-year-old former student of the high school. City Manager Langloss said of the incident,  “We’re lucky the officer was there. His brave actions saved a lot of lives.” Sauk Valley media has identified the shooter as Matt Milby, a former student at the high school.

Matt Milby

While students were gathered in the high school’s gymnasium to practice for graduation, the suspect fired several shots near the west gymnasium, according to Dixon police chief Steven Howell. A school resource officer confronted the armed suspect, who then fled. With the officer in pursuit, the suspect fired several shots at the officer but did not injure him. 

The officer has been identified as Officer Mark Dallas. Dixon Mayor Liandro Arellano Jr. praised the officer, saying: “From the angle I’m looking at right now, at lot of things went right today when a great many of them could have (gone) wrong.” He added, “Things could have gone much worse.” According to the city of Dixon website, school resource officers have been on school premises by the Dixon Police Department in 2000. School authorities said that students behaved according to their training for such situations. Students barricaded themselves in classrooms, blocking doorways with chairs, desks and other furniture.

SRO Officer Mark Dallas

Police Chief Howell commended Officer Dallas, saying “I could not be more proud of the police officer and the way he responded to the situation. With shots ringing out through the hallways of the school, he charged towards the suspect and confronted him, head on.” Howell said, “Because of his heroic actions, countless lives were saved. We are forever indebted to him for his service and his bravery.” Dallas has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation. Suspect Milby was wounded in the shoulder, but is expected to live.
 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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