DIXON – The city celebrated a group of eight people Monday for their brave acts during the shooting at Dixon High School in May.
DHS resource officer Mark Dallas has been recognized on the local, state and national level for putting a stop to Matthew A. Milby Jr. on May 16 after the 19-year-old senior opened fire in the school near the gym filled with about 180 of his classmates practicing for graduation.
The City Council presented Dallas with a Medal of Valor and gave citizens’ awards for outstanding bravery and leadership to seven others who helped during and after the shooting, despite the potential danger to their safety.
Those honored were DHS Principal Mike Grady, Athletic Director Jared Shaner, Coach Andrew McKay, Lee County Sheriff John Simonton, Dixon police Sgt. Mike Wolfley, and Illinois Armory National Guard Staff Sgts. Kelly Bishop and Blair Crum.
McKay went to warn others while being shot at multiple times, Shaner ran with Dallas during the initial threat and checked to make sure students and staff were safe, Grady helped evacuate the students and went outside to check on Dallas, Bishop and Crum ran out of the nearby Illinois National Guard Armory unarmed to assist Dallas, and Wolfley and Simonton effectively executed years of training with their responses during the shooting and in the aftermath.
Wolfley also has spent years training schools and workplaces for active-shooter situations.
City Manager Danny Langloss said the group embodies the strength of the community and heroism in the face of an attack that normally ends in devastation and loss of life.
Police Chief Steve Howell said they have a different title for Dallas than “hero,” and that’s “proven” because of his immediate response to the threat and courage without hesitation.
Dallas pursued Milby outside the school and shot him in the shoulder and hip. Milby is in jail on $2 million bond and is charged with two counts of attempted muder and four counts involving aggravated discharge of a firearm.