Dixon officer honored at capitol


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- State leaders at the capitol honored a school resource officer credited with stopping a school shooting in Dixon earlier this month.

Authorities say Officer Mark Dallas shot and injured a former student who fired several shots near the school gym while students gathered for a graduation rehearsal.

At a press conference Wednesday, Governor Bruce Rauner read a proclamation declaring the day “Mark Dallas Day” in Illinois. Two lawmakers from Dixon also lauded Dallas as a “hometown hero.”

"Two weeks ago today, I chased down a school shooter just about as he was walking into a crowded gymnasium. My son, Joshua, was in that gymnasium with other children in our high school,” Dallas said. “I was not about to let the children under my watch (fall) prey to another school shooting. I'm humbled by those who've referred to me as 'hero,' but I much prefer 'dad.'”

Dallas encouraged lawmakers to invest in more police in schools.

“"Our schools must be sanctuaries, not targets,” Dallas said. “Our schools need more heroes. Our elected officials have the power to be just that. You are, and you will be the true heroes of our children when you support the training and the placement of school resource officers in our public schools."

The Illinois House also passed a resolution honoring Dallas.

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