CHICAGO (CBS) – A School Resource Police Officer shot and wounded an armed former student in an exchange of gunfire outside Dixon High School on Wednesday.
The School Resource Officer, Mark Dallas, is a member of the Dixon Police Department.
Dallas says he was ready for the terrifying moment Wednesday when Matt Milby, 19, brought a gun to school. He says his training kicked in, allowing him to save students and faculty, but also protect his family.
Police Chief Steven Howell said the officer confronted the suspect, a 19-year-old male who had been expelled from school, near the school’s west gym. As the officer pursued the suspect, the offender fired several shots and the officer returned fire. The former student suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken into custody just west of the school. The officer was not hit.
“He’s just an ordinary guy. We’ve been neighbors with him for 13 years now. He’s just quiet, a good guy,” described Nikki Scheidegger.
— Dixon High School (@dukesduchesses) March 2, 2018
Scheidegger says she’s been the neighbor of Mark Dallas for over a decade and says the veteran officer’s son, a senior at Dixon High School, was also inside that gymnasium.
“He’s a hero in our eyes,” said Scheidegger. “A complete hero. He saved countless lives. I just know that kids are safe, that he’s safe, and that they got out okay.”
The School Resource Officer position was added at Dixon High School in 2000 to prevent school violence.
Dallas previously worked as a K9 Officer. His partner retired in 2008, according to the North American Police Work Dog Association.
“I knew he was a Resource Officer, so I was confident in his abilities. The kids are safe if he’s there,” said Scheidegger.
Accused gunman Matt Milby has not been charged at this time.
The Dixon Sheriff’s Office says the school has had active shooter drills, which made a big difference in this incident. He says the school took the appropriate actions.
Dixon High School students will not have school tomorrow, but the graduation ceremony will go on as planned on Sunday.