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Illinois knifeman blames ‘laced weed’ as he confesses to killing four and injuring seven

Christian Soto killed his friend before attacking multiple other victims in a Rockford neighbourhood

Dan Gooding
Thursday 28 March 2024 18:04 GMT
Stabbing spree in Rockford: Suspect in custody after 4 killed, 5 injured

A man accused of going on a killing spree in Rockford, Illinois said marijuana laced with an “unknown narcotic” sparked the violence which left four dead including a mailman and a 15-year-old girl.

Christian Soto, 22, is in custody facing four counts of first-degree murder, as well as multiple attempted murder and home invasion charges.

The violence began at lunchtime on Wednesday, with Mr Soto later telling Rockford Police Department officers that he was smoking weed with his friend which he said had been laced with an “unknown narcotic”.

He became paranoid, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and began stabbing his friend and his friend’s mother, aged 23 and 63 respectively.

On fleeing the scene, Mr Soto recalled “taking out the mailman”, whom he stabbed multiple times and ran over in his truck.

The postal worker, 49, had been with the service for 25 years, officials said on Thursday.

Mr Soto then broke into other homes, leaving seven others injured and a 15-year-old girl dead, after she saved her sister and best friend.

The suspect was taken into custody after chasing one of his victims into the street and stabbing her before a “Good Samaritan” intervened.

Christian Soto is accused of multiple counts of murder (Rockford Police)

In a statement on Thursday morning, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service told The Independent that it was working with law enforcement.

“The Postal Inspection Service can confirm that a United States Postal Service (USPS) letter carrier was one of the victims in yesterday’s incident in Rockford, IL,” a spokesperson said. “At this time, there are no additional details we can provide, as this is an active investigation. Postal inspectors are working with the Rockford Police Department in this investigation.”

Police at the scene of one of the attacks (AP)

In an initial statement released to My Stateline on Wednesday night, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said city leadership was shocked by the “horrific act of violence.”

“We can report that the suspect is in custody and the threat has been neutralized,” Mayor McNamara said. “Now that he is in custody, our primary concern is ensuring that our community members directly impacted by this violence are supported throughout their healing and recovery.

“We have multiple jurisdictions working on multiple crime scenes to develop an understanding of what transpired in an effort to prevent this from happening again. We will continue to provide updates,” the mayor said.

A vigil to remember the victims has been planned for 2.30pm at the intersection of Charles Street and Eggleston Road in the city.

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