A resource officer may have prevented a massacre after a 19-year-old former male student allegedly brought a gun inside an Illinois school and opened fire.
The suspect shot several rounds at Dixon High School resource officer Mark Dallas, who returned fire and struck the gunman during the confrontation, WQAD reported. The officer was not hit by gunfire and the suspect had non-life threatening injuries. No students or staff members were injured in the incident. The suspect was placed in police custody and was receiving medical treatment.
Multiple sources told Sauk Valley the suspected gunman was Matt Milby but officials have not named the suspect. The media outlet reported Milby was expelled from the school recently
Dallas was made the school resource officer after the school received a federal grant to "help prevent school violence." Officials said students followed protocol after having received training in an emergency situation. Officials said students barricaded the doors of classrooms after hearing gunshots.
Officials did not immediately name the suspect or resource officer. The officer was praised by authorities for his quick action and for saving the lives of the students and staff. The officer was placed on paid administrative leave as per department policy, police said.
"I could not be more proud of the officer…because of his heroic actions lives were saved," Dixon police Chief Steven C. Howell Jr. said.
"He saved an enormous amount of lives in this school today," Lee County Sheriff John Simonton said.
Like Dixon High School, resource officers have been recently credited with stopping school shootings from becoming worse or preventing them all together. In March, school resource officer Blaine Gaskill confronted gunman Austin Rollins, who shot Jaelynn Willey in the head at Great Mills High School in Maryland. Willey later died from the injuries she sustained. Rollins was fatally shot, but it was not immediately clear if he took his own life or was killed by the officer. Gaskill was credited with preventing further loss of life. He responded to the shooting within a minute.
In April, Deputy James "Jimmy" Long of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was hailed a hero by his colleagues after he arrested suspected gunman Sky Bouche just three minutes after Bouche allegedly opened fire at Forest High School in Ocala, Fla. One person was injured after Bouche is accused of shooting through a classroom door and hitting a 17-year-old in the ankle.
Meanwhile, Scot Peterson, a former deputy with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office was criticized after he did not enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 when 17 people were killed by an ex-student. An investigation was opened into the incident and Peterson resigned "rather than face possible termination." Surveillance video captured Peterson outside the school, appearing to take cover, as the shooting occurred.
Dixon High School and all other public schools in Dixon were placed on lockdown immediately after the incident which occurred around 8:00 a.m. CDT. The Dixon Police Department believes the suspect “acted alone and that there is no further threat to the safety of students or staff.”
Sauk Valley reported the incident occurred in the school’s gymnasium as seniors gathered for a graduation ceremony practice. Police continued to investigate the shooting.
"We’re lucky the officer was there. His brave actions saved a lot of lives," said City Administrator Danny Langloss, whose daughter was in the gymnasium at the time of the incident.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.