Four Dead, Seven Wounded in Rockford, Ill., Stabbing Spree

News & Politics

A 22-year-old man went on a stabbing spree in Rockford, Ill., killing four people, including a 15-year-old girl, and wounding seven others.

The suspect, Christian Soto, is in police custody. Authorities have not revealed a motive for the attack.

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It’s easy to jump to conclusions because the motive hasn’t been revealed as yet. It could be a crazy guy with a knife or some other reason that authorities don’t think we should know about. 

The spree included a home invasion where one woman was stabbed in the face and hands. She escaped but is in serious condition.

The police report that not all the victims were stabbed, although there were no gunshot wounds. A pickup truck reportedly hit a mail carrier, according to witnesses. He was one of the dead.

“The mail carrier, he was the kindest person. He would help anybody; would step in and help, always friendly,” said resident Ruth Gallagher. “We will miss him.”

Police have identified the four deceased victims as a 15-year-old girl, a 63-year-old woman, a 49-year-old man and a 22-year-old man. 

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“This is a very active and multi-level, multi-agency investigation and has an extensive amount of moving parts,” a press release from the Rockford Police Department said. “As with any investigation, further details and charges may come at a later date.”

ABC News:

The attacks unfolded around 1:14 p.m., local time, in a residential neighborhood in southeast Rockford, which is about 88 miles northeast of Chicago, according to authorities, who noted this was a “multi-jurisdictional crime scene.”

Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said the crime spree included a home invasion in which a young woman was stabbed multiple times. She was identified as the victim who is in critical condition.

“The young lady ran from him. She’s got some stab wounds on her hands and her face. She is currently in the hospital and she is intubated,” Caruana said.

Caruana said a “good Samaritan” who stopped to help the injured woman, was also stabbed, suffering non-life-threatening injuries.

Soto reportedly lived in the neighborhood where most of the attacks occurred and had been a resident since at least September 2022, when he was charged with criminal damage to property. The charges were later dropped.

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Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said at a press conference that the 15-year-old girl’s mother said she died saving her sister and protecting her friend.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said Soto admitted to police to being friends with victim from going over to his residence to smoke marijuana. Soto told police he believed drugs provided to him by the victim were laced with an unknown narcotic. Soto told police he became paranoid and got a knife from the kitchen and stabbed the man and woman, Hanley said.

Parker Stuckey said he witnessed a man driving a truck was trying to run his neighbor over.

Soto is charged with four counts of murder, seven counts of attempted murder, and two counts of home invasion.

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