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Dixon High School shooter out of hospital, in jail on $2M bond

19-year-old senior brought gun to graduation practice

A 19-year-old Dixon High School student, who fired a semi-automatic weapon at graduation practice and was injured when a school resource officer returned fire, was out of the hospital and in jail on $2 million bond Thursday.

Matthew A. Milby Jr. was shot in the shoulder while trying to flee and faces three felony charges. “More charges may be filed in the near future,” Dixon police said in a news release.

The high school senior took a
9 mm semi-automatic rifle to graduation practice in the gym about 8 a.m. Wednesday, fired shots and took off running when officer Mark Dallas confronted him.

Milby shot at Dallas as they were running; Dallas returned fire.

The Illinois State Police is investigating the officer-involved shooting.

“We are working with the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] to track the original purchaser of the weapon that was used and make sure we can figure out how it got in his hands,” Lt. Chris Endress said.

Police later learned that Milby’s mother bought the gun her son used Wednesday in 2012. ISP continued to pursue leads to determine how Milby obtained access to the weapon Thursday afternoon.

Milby is charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, aggravated discharge at a school employee and aggravated discharge at a school building, each punishable by six to 30 years in prison.

Both his parents, Dixon residents Julie Milby and Matthew A. Milby Sr., have been interviewed, and a search
of his mom’s Everett Street home,
where Matthew A. Milby Jr. lives, was conducted Wednesday afternoon, Endress said.

Julie Milby told reporters after the shooting that she did not know where her son got the gun, and they did not have guns in their home.

His mother said peers had bullied and “ostracized” Matthew A. Milby Jr. after he was caught using marijuana while on the football team.

He was charged May 15, 2017, and found guilty April 26 in Lee County court of possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana and fined $120.

As with any officer-involved shooting, investigators ask for a voluntary statement from the officer, which usually is given with a representative of the officer’s union present.

The Fraternal Order of Police responded quickly Wednesday.

Dallas, who is being lauded as a hero for his immediate and decisive actions, will not be available for media interviews until after his ISP interview, the Dixon Police Department has said.

It’s common for a union rep to be at the officer’s side during the course of an investigation, to act as a liaison and to “look out for the best interest of the officer,” Endress said.

Endress also had high praise for the way all involved responded to the crisis.

“As an outside agency, it was
absolutely amazing to see all the resources come together and work so quickly to seal off and secure the school, to relocate the students and reunite the students with their parents, and secure the crime scene,” Endress said. “It was clear to us that the school and the city and the county had planned for this day.”

May 11 was the last day of school for the senior class; graduation practice resumed at 1 p.m. Thursday in the gym. The ceremony is at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Counselors will be available through Tuesday, the end of the school year.

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