Officer shoots armed former student at IL high school

Dixon police officer Mark Dallas who also serves as Dixon High School's school resource officer

Dixon police officer Mark Dallas who also serves as Dixon High School's school resource officer. Dixon Police Department

A potential school shooting in IL was thwarted on Wednesday (local time), after a school resource officer shot and wounded a former student who opened fire.

Danny Langloss, Dixon City Manager tweeted "So grateful for the heroic actions of the Dixon police officer who stopped the armed gunman at Dixon high school". "Because of his heroic actions countless lives were saved".

Police Chief Steven Howell said the officer confronted the suspect, a 19-year-old male who was a former student, near the school's west gym. "We are forever indebted to his courage and bravery". Officer Dallas, who was on duty, confronted the student, then chased him as he ran out of the school. Howell declined to discuss why the former student brought a gun to the school.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rautner sent out a tweet saying, "Today, we should all be very thankful to school resource officer Mark Dallas for his bravery and quick action to immediately diffuse a unsafe situation at Dixon High School". Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School did have a school resource officer, but instead of engaging the gunman Sheriff Deputy Scot Peterson hid, and 17 people died. There will be a heightened police presence at those schools.

All schools in Dixon, a small city about 100 miles (160 km) west of Chicago where former U.S. President Ronald Reagan lived as a boy, were placed on lockdown.

Other students and community members voiced their praise for Officer Dallas. The officer followed the suspect who shot at him several times during the pursuit, but did not manage to strike the officer.

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The suspect was taken into custody, Howell said. No students or staff were injured.

"I'm eternally grateful for the school resource officer's clarity of thinking and ability to spring into action and react in a dire situation", Demmer said.

"While removing students from the various classrooms, responding officers found the staff [and] students had barricaded the doors to the classrooms with desks, bookcases and other objects", Howell said.

"In addition to that, we need to take a look at what happened at the school", he said. Milby was the only person hurt in the incident, police said.

Dixon High School remains on lockdown. The Chicago Tribune identified the officer who engaged with the gunman as school resource officer Mark Dallas. "And from what I've been told ... they did exactly what we asked them to do during the training".

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