Dixon police officer shoots former student accused of opening fire in school

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The Dixon community is hailing the actions of a police officer as heroic after he shoots an armed gunman who opened fire at the school’s gymnasium on Wednesday morning.

Dixon Police Officer Mark Dallas is a 15 year veteran of the Dixon Police Department and has 24 total years of law enforcement experience and had been assigned as the Dixon High School Resource Officer for the past 5 years. 

At approximately 8 a.m. a 19-year-old armed suspect fired several shots near the west gym. Officer Dallas pursued the suspect, who fired back toward him. The officer returned fire, injuring the shooter. His injuries are believed to be non-life threatening. He was taken into custody and transferred to KSB Hospital for treatment.

No students or staff were injured.

An outpouring of public support for Officer Dallas’ actions has been trending on social media.

Governor Bruce Rauner released a statement 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.”

The Illinois Education Association (IEA) President Kathi Griffin today released the following statement regarding the school shooting at Dixon High School:

“Our hearts are heavy with the news of another school shooting. The quick, brave actions of Dixon Police Department School Resource Officer Mark Dallas stopped the gunman and saved many lives,” said IEA President Kathi Griffin. “Today’s events will undoubtedly cause some to wonder if arming teachers will somehow be a deterrent, a way to keep our children and our schools safe. But that’s not what our educators have signed up for. It’s the job of a school resource officer, and we commend him for keeping our students and staff safe.”

David Simpson, Democratic candidate for Illinois Senate District 45, issued the following statement in response to the school shooting at Dixon High School this morning:
“Although we have some good gun laws in Illinois, apparently they don’t go far enough to create safe communities in Illinois,” said David Simpson. “Thankfully, because the school district and the security officer on duty acted swiftly, there were no fatalities at Dixon High School this morning. With the new gun dealer licensing bill being voted on in the state senate today, it is critical that we do more as a state to make sure guns don’t end up in the wrong hands.”

Other students and community members voiced their praise for Officer Dallas.

Counseling services will be provided to students at 5 p.m. in the Reagan Middle School cafeteria on Wednesday.

Dixon High School will be closed to students on Thursday, May 17th. Pre-K through 8th grade students will be on a normal schedule. There will be a heightened police presence at those schools.

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