Accused Dixon school shooter back in court, staff re-lives horrifying day to testify

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DIXON, Ill. (WTVO) — Matthew Milby, Jr. the man accused of opening fire at Dixon High School, appeared back in court on Tuesday.

Milby was found unfit to stand trial. So now, the court is trying to figure out if he will stay committed in a care facility.

Milby is accused of bringing a 9mm semi-automatic rifle to Dixon High School graduation practice and exchanging gunfire with the school resource Officer Mark Dallas on May 16th, 2018.

Milby can be seen in surveillance video at the high school firing in the lobby and then running away.

In court, several people testified about what happened that day, including the principal, the gym teacher, and Officer Dallas.

Dallas said he has known Milby for years and after hearing the shots, chased after him.

“I observed that he had a long gun in his possession and obviously from the sound I heard and the smell of gunpowder in the lobby I gave chase,” said Officer Dallas.

“I thought I was going to be in trouble for interrupting a training exercise,” said Andrew McKay, the PE teacher at Dixon High.

McKay says he saw the gunman, who he identified as Milby, in the school hallway. Initially, he believed he walked into the middle of an active shooter drill. It was only after a warning from then-school resource officer Dallas that he realized the weapon was real.

Surveillance shows he fired several shots at McKay and then ran away.

“I went to the big gym and alerted the students there was an active shooter in the building, and to exit the building as quickly as possible,” said McKay.

Dallas said he heard three shots.

“Obviously, from the sound I heard, and the smell of gunpowder in the lobby, I gave chase,” said Officer Dallas.

Dallas said he told Milby to put the gun down and told the judge while running, Milby fired at him over his shoulder. Dallas returned fire, hitting Milby.

“Just trying to go through my police training. And what’s gonna protect our community, protect myself,” Officer Dallas said.

Dallas revealed that he coached Milby over the years and his son was friends with him. In a dashcam video from a Lee County Sheriff squad car that was on the scene, you can see a distraught Dallas in tears. Dallas said he briefly talked to Milby after the shooting.

“I asked him, I go ‘this is how you pay me back for everything I’ve helped you with in your life? This is how you treat me? This is what you do?” said Officer Dallas.

Milby is charged with aggravated discharge of a weapon toward a peace officer, aggravated discharge of a weapon at a school employee, and aggravated discharge of a weapon at a school. Milby pleaded not guilty to the charges on May 18, 2018.

Milby was deemed unfit for trial previously in both 2018 and 2019.

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