An Illinois school resource officer stopped an armed teenager at a high school this morning, according to the local police chief, who applauded the officer for saving “countless” lives.
When the 19-year-old suspect fired several shots this morning near a gym at Dixon High School, the school resource officer reported the incident to authorities and then confronted the gunman, Dixon police chief Steven Howell said at a news conference.
When confronted, the suspect started running away, and the officer pursued him, Howell said. The suspect shot several rounds at the officer, and the officer then returned fire, hitting the gunman, the chief added.
The suspect was taken into custody with what’s believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
No students or staff were injured but the high school and all other schools in the district were placed on lockdown, Dixon City Manager Danny Langloss said in a statement.
The police chief did not name the suspect but said he is a former student at Dixon High School, which is about 100 miles west of Chicago.
Dixon police believe the suspect acted alone and that there is no further threat to the safety of students or staff, Langloss added.
Howell said he “could not be more proud” of the officer who ran toward the suspect and said his “heroic actions” saved “countless” lives.
The officer, whose name was not released by police, is on paid administrative leave, per policy, police said.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner identified the officer as Mark Dallas, writing on Twitter, “We should all be very thankful to school resource officer Mark Dallas for his bravery and quick action to immediately diffuse a dangerous situation.”
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