SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- A hero police officer who prevented a school shooting in Dixon was honored in Springfield as Governor Bruce Rauner declared Wednesday as Officer Mark Dallas Day.
It was a day full of honors for the man whose quick action prevented a possible tragedy at Dixon High school earlier this month.
"Officer Dallas' bravery and quick action prevented what could have been an unimaginable tragedy," said Governor Rauner.
It was just two weeks ago that Dallas was confronted with an armed shooter at Dixon High School, where he is the school resource officer and where his son Josh was in the gym practicing for graduation.
"I heard several shots ring out, in my heart I knew exactly what it was," Officer Mark Dallas said. "I saw the shooter heading towards the doors of the gymnasium, it appeared he was attempting to go in, I let out some type of yell, I don't know what I said, but I yelled at the top of my lungs."
"I heard several shots ring out and our strength trainer jumped into the gymnasium and and started screaming, 'Go, go go!' and I heard my dad yell, and then I knew, I knew it was the real deal," said 18-year-old Joshua Dallas, who just graduated from Dixon High School.
Officer Dallas chased the suspect, Matthew Milby, outside.
"I seen a long gun that I was familiar with and him running and then turning and shooting several rounds at me," said Officer Dallas.
"I knew my dad would protect us all, he did what he always told us he would do, and that was protect us. And I never once feared for my life. But it did scare me that he was the one going after the shooter," Joshua Dallas said.
Officer Dallas returned fire, wounding Milby, who then surrendered. No one else was injured. Dallas and his family were finally reunited several hours later.
"We all just gave each other a big hug, and just like the 'I love yous,' and it was a great moment. We weren't hurt," Joshua Dallas said.
Officer Dallas was also honored in the Senate and House for being a hometown hero.
"We've done all this in an effort to create a day that you won't forget, because on May 16th, you gave us a day we will never forget," said Senator Tim Bivins, R-Dixon.
Officer Dallas said he knows some people want to call him a hero, but he politely declined to accept that label, instead as he put it he would much rather just wear the title "Dad."
Dixon police officer who prevented school shooting honored in Springfield