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Students and parents react to school shooting in “small town Dixon”

Editor's Note: Previous reports incorrectly stated that Milby was a former or expelled student. The Dixon High School superintendent has confirmed to WQAD that Milby was scheduled to graduate with the 2018 senior class.

DIXON, Illinois - Students, parents, and teachers are still shaken up after a shooting scare at Dixon High School on the morning of May 16.

Students are trying to make sense of why 19-year-old Matthew Milby, a graduating senior, opened fire near the gym where his fellow seniors were practicing for this weekend's graduation ceremony.

"Maybe he was getting back at somebody in school, maybe it was a cry for attention, I don't know either way this is pretty crazy. I would not think this would happen in small town Dixon."

Shortly after the sounds of shots being fired, school resource officer Mark Dallas shot Milby in the shoulder and students filed onto buses, to be reunited with parents.

"Somebody was looking out the window and said, hey, there's people running out there through the teacher parking lot. And we looking out there, and the teacher said, everyone get in the corner," recalls London Hartman, a junior at Dixon High.

"An officer went on the intercom and said that it was not a drill," said Adam Pottinger, a sophomore.

Pottinger said he was in English class when the shots were heard.

"We barricaded the doors in under a minute," he said.

And, no matter where you were, fear filled the walls in Dixon High School.

"There was a girl crying right next to me. I asked her if she was alright." said Hartman. "What's going through my head is I don't care what happens to me, I'm thinking I hope all my friends are okay because I can't see them. I can't talk to them, and I'm worried."

Fear filled the hearts of parents as well.

"These are the times we are living in unfortunately, and you just have to do the best you can and hope everyone stays safe and pray pray pray," says parent Kim Weinstock.

Tonight, it is believed Milby acted alone. Everyone inside the building made it out safely and Milby is in custody. The only thing now, for families, is to move forward.

"These people that do these things, they want you to change, they want you to be afraid, so don't. So, go on like it never happened. Learn the lessons but forget the experience." Hartman said.

The shooting remains under investigation.

Counseling services are available for Dixon students, staff and parents at Reagan Middle School.

Dixon High School will be closed on Thursday, May 17, 2018.