Dixon High School resource officer hailed a hero after shooting

The Dixon High School resource officer who stopped an armed former student from shooting anyone inside the building is being hailed a hero for his efforts. 

Authorities have not named the school resource officer, but Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner tweeted his thanks to the officer, naming him as Mark Dallas.

The shooting happened at 8:06 Wednesday morning near the gym of Dixon High School. Seniors were inside the gym discussing details about their upcoming graduation when a 19-year-old former student started shooting. That resource officer, who is not named at this time, confronted the suspect. The suspect shot at the officer, and the officer returned fire, striking and stopping the suspect. 

"With shots ringing out toward the school, he charged toward the suspect head on," said Dixon Police Chief Steve Howell. "We are forever indebted to his bravery. 

The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy. He has not been named at this time. The suspect was injured in the shooting but is expected to be OK. 

Lee County Sheriff John Simonton praised the officer for his efforts, and said training by law enforcement with the school kept this situation from turning deadly. He says when officers went inside the school, students and staff had barricaded the doors to the classroom in an effort to keep an intruder out. He says relationships built between law enforcement, emergency responders and the district were live-saving Wednesday.

"I can not tell you that in an incident like this how critical that is. Being able to think swiftly on your feet is more amazing to me," Simonton said. "It’s certainly a horrific event, however it could have been a lot worse. Because of the school resource officer and the schools itself, it wasn’t." 

Officials did not take questions at an 11:30 a.m. media conference, but have been providing multiple updates throughout the morning. While the investigation is early, Lee County State’s Attorney Matt Klein promised a thorough investigation and appropriate charges in the case. 

At the end of the news conference, Dixon School District Superintendent Margo Empen thanked law enforcement and the community for their support, and to parents, students and staff for their bravery. 

13 News is in Dixon this afternoon to bring you live coverage throughout the day. Tune in to 13 News at 5 & 6 for more full coverage. 

adwpadmin

adwpadmin

More News

13 Weather Authority

Rockford
69°
Freeport
67°
DeKalb
68°
Rochelle
69°
Sterling
69°
Janesville
70°
Monroe
65°
Rockford
69°
Freeport
67°
DeKalb
68°
Rochelle
69°
Sterling
69°
Janesville
70°
Monroe
65°
Cool down is underway, winds are picking up

Cool down is underway, winds are picking up

ROCKFORD (WREX) – A big cool down is in store for the Stateline just in time for the first official

Connect With WREX
Top Stories

Rain returns for the end of the week

Rain has been lacking so far this month with only 4 days measuring rainfall. That should change late this week

Winnebago County 2019 budget nearly $3 million in the red

Not only is the 2019 budget in the red, but the county says it looks like 2018 will end with

Winnebago School District negotiations still ongoing, strike on the table

Will they strike? That's the big question tonight about Winnebago teachers. 

Jury: Man guilty of killing Machesney Park teen

Michael Mernack, 37, killed Rebecaa Finkenhofer, 16, at her Minns home on Dec. 28, 2016.

1 person killed in serious crash in front of Eisenhower M.S.

The Rockford Police Department is on the scene of a serious three car crash in front of Eisenhower Middle School.

Scroll to top
Skip to content