This past week, the City of Dixon, Illinois renamed the street in front of Dixon High School the “Mark Dallas Way.” The name change is to honor a heroic school resource officer who stopped a would-be mass murderer from shooting up a high school graduation practice five years ago.
Mark Dallas was on duty that fateful day and he credits not only his training but the forethought of the local school district in working proactively to counter potential threats. However nobody ever dreamed a former student and 19-year-old social misfit (go figure) would bring a gun into their town’s high school and try to mow down 160+ matriculating seniors attending a graduation rehearsal.
Dallas’ then 18-year-old son Joshua was among those at the rehearsal and it’s unknown if the school resource officer was there because of that or simply as part of his normal working hours at the school.
Either way, Officer Dallas’ presence saved countless lives, and the City of Dixon rightfully has recognized his heroism with the honorary street name.
From WTVO . . .
Matthew Milby, 19, was sentenced to 30 years for bringing a gun to Dixon High School during graduation practice on May 16, 2018 and opening fire. Dallas heard the shots and told Milby to drop the gun, who Dallas said fired at him over his shoulder while he was running.
Dallas returned fire and hit Milby.
Dallas said that the only reason he was not hurt was because of the training he and the department had.
“I am not the reason kids at Dixon High School survived. The students at Dixon High School survived because long before the shooting occurred our community possessed the wisdom and collective will to do something about it,” Dallas said. “Our police department had grown weary of the countless massacres unfolding throughout our country, so we developed a strong school resource officer program and then we trained, we trained and we trained some more for years before this happened. Our entire local law enforcement community was trained for May 16, 2018. For years before he walked into Dixon High School with an Uzi, our entire law enforcement community was getting ready for Matthew Milby.”
No, Mark Dallas. You are the reason those kids survived. Yes, the school district had the good sense to make sure there was a school resource officer present, but SROs – like concealed carry licensees – come in all flavors and abilities. A few have one foot into retirement. Some work schools because they lack the courage to run towards the sound of gunfire on the streets.
On the other end of the spectrum, many take their jobs very seriously. Those go-getters study, train, practice, and then train some more to be the very best they can be if and when it really matters most. They know that, to coin a phrase, sometimes the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good person with a gun.
Thank you, Mark Dallas. You stepped up to take on a lunatic while armed with only your training and your handgun. The people of Dixon were very fortunate to have you there that day.