Police: Dixon High School shooter used gun bought by mother in 2012

19-year-old in jail on $2 million bond

Yellow police tape marks the scene west of Dixon High School, where a school resource officer shot and wounded an armed student Wednesday on campus.
Yellow police tape marks the scene west of Dixon High School, where a school resource officer shot and wounded an armed student Wednesday on campus.

The 9 mm semi-automatic rifle that Dixon High School shooter Matthew A. Milby Jr. used Wednesday was bought by his mother in 2012, investigators said.

The Illinois State Police still are determining how Milby had possession of the weapon, and the agency also recovered surveillance footage from inside the high school, according to a news release.

Milby, 19, was released about 10:20 a.m. Thursday from Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital and is in the Lee County Jail on $2 million bond. His arraignment tentatively is scheduled for Friday.

Milby, who was shot in the shoulder while trying to flee after firing shots during graduation practice Wednesday, has been charged with three felonies, “and more charges may be filed in the near future,” Dixon police said in the release.

The 19-year-old senior fired shots about 8 a.m. Wednesday into the Lancaster Gym at Dixon High School and took off running when confronted by school resource officer Mark Dallas.

Milby shot at Dallas as they were running, and Dallas returned fire.

State police are 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,” said Lt. Chris Endress, who identified the type of gun Milby used.

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 of 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 that they did not have guns in their home.

Matthew A. Milby Sr. is a convicted felon, so he presumably is not allowed to own guns.

Julie Milby said her son had been bullied and “ostracized” by his peers after getting 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 was fined $120.

As of Thursday morning, the state police had yet to interview Dallas.

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.

In this case, “the logistics of when everyone is available has not been determined,” Endress said.

Dallas, who is being lauded as a hero for his immediate and decisive actions, will not be available for media interviews until after his police 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.

The Fraternal Order of Police responded quickly Wednesday, and a representative was with Dallas shortly after the shooting, Endress said.

Endress also had high praise for the way everyone 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,” he said.

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