"It’s terrifying to walk back in there," That’s just one of the feelings sophomore TJ Munroe says she had as she walked back into Dixon High School to collect her things, roughly 24 hours after a fellow classmate opened fire in the school’s hallway.
"It gives me chills to think that could’ve been the day that I died in that school," she says.
But she didn’t and neither did any of her classmates thanks to Dixon High School resource officer Mark Dallas’ quick thinking to go after the suspect. His actions come as no shock to these students.
"He would stand up for anyone even if it wasn’t his own kids he would’ve done it," sophomore Aidan Schmall says.
Students say they’ve known Officer Dallas as a mentor and now a hero. A man Munroe says she’s always looked up to because someday she wants to be just like him.
"I talked to him about what I would need to know and everything that would help me get to that position," Munroe says.
"He’s a person anyone would want to talk to. He’s always funny. He’s always cheering you up," Schmall says. "He’s never down. He knows exactly what to say to you."
And now, students say they have an even better reason to look up to the officer who walks their school’s halls and keeps them safe.
"We all survived parents aren’t planning funerals for their kids," Munroe says. "Instead, they’re planning graduation parties."
A gift they say they’ll never be able to repay him for. All they have to give back, is their gratitude.
"Thank you for being there," Schmall says. "Thank you for being everyone’s hero."
The suspect, Matthew Milbly, is set to be in court tomorrow.