DIXON, Ill. (WTVO) — Matthew Milby, the man who opened fire during a graduation practice at Dixon High School in 2018, was sentenced to 30 years in jail on Tuesday.
After being deemed not fit for trial in both 2018 and 2019, Milby plead guilty earlier this year to Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm Toward a Police Officer and Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm in a School.
Milby was sentenced to 30 years for shooting at School Resource Officer Mark Dallas and 30 years for shooting at teacher Andrew McKay. The sentences will be served concurrently, or at the same time, meaning that Milby will spend 30 years behind bars at most.
Milby will only have to serve 85% of the sentence, meaning he could be free in 25 and a half years. He will also serve three years of mandatory supervised release.
He apologized for his actions at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.
“My actions on May 16, 2018 were wrong and I am here to take reasonability for what I did,” Milby said. “I understand how many actions have impacted Officer Dallas and Mr. McKay, my classmates and their parents and the community.”
Officer Dallas said that the only reason he was not hurt was because of the training he and the department had.
“I am not the reason kids at Dixon High School survived. The students at Dixon High School survived because long before the shooting occurred our community possessed the wisdom and collective will to do something about it,” Dallas said. “Our police department had grown weary of the countless massacres unfolding throughout our country, so we developed a strong school resource officer program and then we trained, we trained and we trained some more for years before this happened. Our entire local law enforcement community was trained for May 16, 2018. For years before he walked into Dixon High School with an Uzi, our entire law enforcement community was getting ready for Matthew Milby.”
The day left a mark on the community. While it has been four years since the shooting, many said that they still feel like it was yesterday.
“Writing about my feelings and being here today has been very tough,” said Randelle McKay. “I think about the shooting a lot, like when it is quite, when people say triggering words.”
Randelle took the stand before the sentencing, sharing that she continues to go to therapy. She was just 6-years-old when she found out that someone had shot her dad, Dixon teacher Andrew McKay. McKay and Dallas ran after Milby after he fired shots just feet from where Dallas was at.
“The previous day, I was in my office two to three times in a row with other situations going on in the school,” Dallas said. “I’m glad I didn’t have that that day because I wouldn’t been down there, I would have been 200 yards away.”
Former athletic director, and current principal, Jared Shaner also thinks on the what ifs from that day.
“What could have been different if things would have been 10 seconds earlier or 10 seconds later,” Shaner said. “These feelings, thoughts and emotions certainly consumed me on that day and the days that followed. Although they may not be as intense as they were on May 16, they are still with me.”
Milby’s family asked for leniency. They spoke of his home life while he was growing up, saying that he was abused by his mother for years.
“When me and my brother moved out, that’s when it went downhill,” said Denike Wilson, Milby’s sister. “I think it’s because there was nobody for my mom to mentally abuse and physically abuse other than just focus all her energy on him.”
Lynette Roche, Milby’s aunt, told the judge that they tried to help but could not get Milby out of the abusive environment,
“We would hide him in the closet,” Roche said. “It was very hard to feel like I could do nothing other than not open the door.”
Everyone agreed that their lives will never be the same.
“My selfish side comes from me being angry and hurt because of what he did to my dad and I want him to suffer because of it, but my Christian side thinks that if he had better parents or a better home he would not be where he is today,” Randelle said.
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