Man Behind Stabbing Spree Identified

The man who went on a killing spree in Illinois on March 27 has been identified. Police arrested Christian Soto around 20 minutes after the horrific incident in Rockford that left four people dead and seven injured. Officers say they are unsure of the motive behind Soto’s attack but confirmed prosecutors have charged him with 11 counts of murder and attempted murder and two counts of home invasion with a deadly weapon.

The 22-year-old is held without bail at Winnebago County Jail, and his victims include 15-year-old Jenna Newcomb, 22-year-old Jacob Schubach, 49-year-old Jay Larson, and 63-year-old Romona Schubach. All were stabbed to death.

Media reports indicate that Soto visited the home of Jacob Schubach on the afternoon of March 27 to smoke marijuana, after which he became paranoid. The suspect later told law enforcement he believed the marijuana was “laced.” He allegedly stabbed both Jacob Schucbach and his mother, before leaving their home armed with a “katana-style knife.” At that point, he attacked a postal worker and broke into several homes in the neighborhood to carry out further assaults.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said he was shocked by the “horrific” violence and praised law enforcement officers for bringing the situation under control and “neutralizing” the threat. Mr. McNamara added that multiple law enforcement agencies were working together to establish what happened and to offer support to the local community.

President Biden said he was horrified by the news and likewise expressed thanks for “the heroic actions” of police and first responders.

The US Postal Service issued a statement confirming that a United States Postal Service (USPS) letter carrier was among the dead. The statement said Jay Larson had worked with the service for more than 25 years.

Few indicators in Soto’s past suggested he would engage in such extreme violence. His only police records were for property damage in 2022, but these charges were eventually dismissed. He was also booked for a traffic violation in March 2024.