DIXON – A suspect is in custody after shots were fired on Wednesday morning at Dixon High School.
Dixon Police Chief Steve Howell, Jr., said at a press conference, that on Wednesday morning that at 8:06 a.m., Dixon Police received a report of an armed male subject at the Dixon High School. This report was put out by the resource officer assigned to the school.
Howell said the subject fired several shots near the west gym. At that point, Howell, Jr., said, the subject was confronted by the school resource officer. When confronted by the officer, the suspect exited the school and began running westbound on Armory Drive. The school resource officer pursued the subject. While pursing the subject, the subject shot several rounds toward the school resource officer. At which time the officer returned fire and struck the suspect. Shortly thereafter the suspect was taken into custody. The suspect was transported and received medical attention. Howell, Jr., said it is believed the injuries to the suspect are not life-threatening.
Howell, Jr., said the names of the suspect and the school resource officer are not being released. The officer will be placed on paid administrative leave per policy.
Although the City of Dixon and the Lee County Sheriff’s Department is not releasing the name of the school resource office, the Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, tweeted his support of the officer.
“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,” Rauner tweeted.
Dixon High School and all Dixon public schools were initially placed on lockdown. The high school remains the only school on lockdown.
Howell, Jr., said there were no injuries to any staff or students. Howell, Jr., said they also believe there is no further threats to staff or students, or community. Howell, Jr., said it is believed the subject acted alone.
Howell, Jr., said the subject is a 19-year male, who is a former student of Dixon High School.
He said that students and staff responded to the situation extremely well. The district has been receiving training on how to respond to these situations. While removing students from the various classrooms, officers found that the staff and students had barricaded doors to the classroom with desks, bookcases and other objects per the training that they had received.
“I could not be more proud of the police officer and the way he responded to the situation,” Howell, Jr., said. “When shots rang out through the hallway of the school, he charged toward the suspect and confronted him head-on.”
Howell said because of this heroic action, countless lives were saved.
Lee County Sheriff John Simonton said during the press conference that the school resource officer saved an enormous amount of lives today.
In regard to the students and teachers, Simonton said they were prepared and that they did exactly what we asked them to do.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Simonton said.
Reports of an active shooter in the Dixon High School also resulted in local schools being put on soft lock down for the sake of safety.
According to the administration at AFC Schools, when they were made aware of the situation, the AFC school went on soft lock down and they had been contacted by administration in Sterling that they were also on soft lockdown. Amboy School District is not on any lockdown.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) released the following statement after learning of a shooting incident this morning at Dixon High School in Dixon: “As we continue to gather more information about the shooting incident at Dixon High School this morning, I extend my deepest gratitude to the Dixon Police Department, and especially the School Resource Officer (SRO) on-site, for their swift action today and for keeping our students, teachers, and our community safe.”