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Dixon Police Officer Hailed As Hero, Student Charged In School Shooting Incident

Dixon Police Department
Dixon police officer Mark Dallas, who also serves as Dixon High School's school resource officer.

Dixon High School’s school resource officer is being lauded for stopping a student who showed up with a gun Wednesday.

Dixon police have identified the officer as one of their own, Officer Mark Dallas. Dallas is a 15 year veteran of the police department, serving the last five as the high school’s resource officer.

Shortly after 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, a 19-year-old student fired several shots near the gym where graduation practice was taking place. Officer Dallas, who was on duty, confronted the student, then chased him as he ran out of the school. During the foot chase, the suspect fired several shots at the officer and missed. Dallas returned fire, shot him in the shoulder, and arrested him.

The investigation is being conducted by the Illinois State Police.  They've identified the student as Dixon High School Senior Matthew Milby. Late Wednesday, the Lee County State's Attorney charged Milby with three Class X felonies related to firing a gun in a school. Bond has been set at $2 million. He’s under police guard at KSB Hospital, where he’s being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. No one else was injured. In a news release, state police investigators say he will be transported to the county jail as soon as he is released from the hospital.

Information from the police department earlier in the day indicated the shooter was a former student. But Dixon School Superintendent Margo Empen confirmed that he was eligible to graduate with his classmates and had not dropped out or been expelled.

Classes are canceled Thursday at Dixon High School, although Seniors will gather again to practice for their graduation ceremony.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.
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