At 8:00 am this morning, as students gathered in the gymnasium for graduation practice at Dixon High School in Illinois, an armed gunman opened fire on students, but was quickly confronted by an armed school resource officer. “It is not clear where the officer was stationed at the time but he was able to confront the shooter quickly,” Dixon Police Chief Steve Howell said.
The gunman, a 19-year old former student, failed in shooting the officer, who returned fire and wounded the unnamed gunman before he could shoot any students. The suspect suffered non-life-threatening injuries, while the officer, identified as Mark Dallas, suffered no injuries.
According to Chief Howell, “‘With shots ringing out in the hallways of the school, he charged towards the suspect and confronted him head-on. Because of his heroic actions, countless lives were saved. We are forever indebted to him for his courage and his bravery.”
This is @DixonPolice SRO officer Mark Dallas, whom students are crediting with stopping a student armed with a gun at Dixon High School this morning. https://t.co/1vuDPYCYs9 pic.twitter.com/XCBdfAKbla
— WQAD (@wqad) May 16, 2018
The “school resource officer” position at Dixon was originally funded by the COPS federal grant to help prevent school violence.
According to the New York Daily News:
The gunman struck in the confrontation and taken into custody and is currently receiving medical treatment. Authorities believe the gunman acted alone and that there is no further threat to the community, according to a press release from city manager Danny Langloss.
Still, all public schools in Dixon, located about 80 miles from Chicago, were put on lockdown following the incident so authorities may continue to investigate.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner tweeted. “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.”
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.
— Governor Rauner (@GovRauner) May 16, 2018
This comes among a renewed national debate on having armed officers in schools or allowing teachers that already have concealed carry permit to carry on campus. At least eight states already allow teachers K-12 in some capacity to carry guns, including Kansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.
Do schools needed more armed guards to keep our students safe? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!