Mark Dallas, 50, is being hailed a hero after shooting a 19-year-old gunman, Matt Milby, who opened fire Wednesday morning at Dixon High School in Illinois. Dallas’ bullet stopped the suspect who reportedly fired several shots in a gym full of 150 graduating seniors, according to WQAD-TV. Milby suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder, but is expected to survive. The school resource officer who stopped the gun, Mark Dallas, was not injured during the altercation and none of the students were shot. Dallas also has children who attend Dixon High School.
Dallas chased the gunman out of the school. Milby fired at the officer and Dallas fired back, hitting the suspect in the shoulder.
“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,” said Dixon Police Chief Steven Howell in a press conference Wednesday. “Because of his heroic actions countless lives were saved.”
Dallas has received praise for his actions from numerous parents, state and local officials, members of the community, as well as people all over the internet. Dixon Police Chief Steven Howell said, “We are forever indebted to him for his service and his bravery.
City Administrator Danny Langloss has a daughter, a senior at Dixon High School who was present in the gym during the shooting was among the seniors in the gym. She told Sauk Valley Media, “”We’re lucky the officer was there. His brave actions saved a lot of lives.”
Lee County Sheriff John Simonton credited Dallas with “saving enormous amounts of lives” and said that “Certainly it is a horrific event that took place today, but it could have been a lot worse.”
Dixon Mayor Liandro Arellanno Jr. told reporters at the Chicago Tribune, “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. Things could have gone much worse.”
Illinois Governor Bruce Rautner sent out a tweet saying, “Today, we should all be very thankful to school resource officer Mark Dallas for his bravery and quick action to immediately diffuse a dangerous situation at Dixon High School.”
Who is Mark Dallas?
Mark Dallas is the school resource officer at Dixon High School, who may have prevented a mass shooting scenario by taking down 19-year-old gunman Matt Milby. Dallas is a 50-year-old white male who formerly worked as a K-9 officer, according to North American Police Work Dog Association’s website. It is not known how long Dallas worked for the police department or for how long he has been employed by Dixon High School.
According to the Dixon city website, “The School Resource Officer (SRO) is a certified law enforcement officer who is permanently assigned to provide coverage to a school or a set of schools. The SRO is trained to perform the following three roles: law enforcement officer; law-related counselor; and law-related education teacher. The SRO is not necessarily a DARE officer, security guard, or officer who has been placed temporarily in a school in response to a emergency crisis, but rather acts as a comprehensive resource for his or her school.”
As a result of Wednesday’s shooting, Dallas has been put on paid administrative leave,per Dixon Police Department protocol, according to Police Chief Steven Howell’s report to the media. An investigation into the shooting at Dixon High School is currently underway by local and federal authorities. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene of the shooting, including the FBI, ATF, state police, the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and the Dixon Police Department.