Stabbing spree suspect says he committed crimes because he smoked marijuana laced with 'unknown narcotic'

Christian Soto by is licensed under
ROCKFORD, IL - Three teenage girls were enjoying a sleepover when they became some of the victims of a stabbing rampage in Rockford, Illinois. Christian Soto, a 22-year-old man, stands accused of a killing spree that left four people dead and several others injured, including the three girls who were watching a movie in a basement during their sleepover.

The tragic events unfolded on Wednesday afternoon when Soto entered a home on Florence Street through an unlocked back door off the garage. Covered in blood and armed with a softball bat he found in the kitchen, he confronted the girls. Jenna Newcomb, 15, courageously tried to save her sister and her friend, but tragically lost her life in the process, according to Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

Jenna's friend, lying in a fetal position, was struck by Soto on her left side with the bat. As the horrifying attack continued, Soto suddenly announced he was going upstairs to get a gun.

Seizing the opportunity, Jenna's friend called the police and ran outside, finding officers already nearby responding to Soto's rampage.

This incident was part of a broader spree that started with a home invasion at the Schubachs' residence. Soto, who was visiting his longtime friend Jacob Schubach, claimed to investigators that he and Jacob had smoked marijuana laced with an unknown narcotic. Becoming paranoid, Soto grabbed a knife from the kitchen and fatally stabbed both Jacob and his mother, Romona Schubach.

Following this, Soto drove his car, running down and fatally stabbing Jay Larson, a 49-year-old man who was a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service. Larson was described as a kind and helpful individual, loved by the community.

Soto's rampage continued as he broke into another home, attacking a woman with a knife. A good Samaritan driving by tried to intervene and was also stabbed by Soto. The violence finally ended when Winnebago County sheriff's deputies and police officers apprehended Soto after a brief chase.

In total, four people were killed, including Jenna Newcomb, Jay Larson, Jacob Schubach, and his mother Romona Schubach. Seven others were injured, with some still said to be in critical condition.

The community, devastated by the senseless violence, mourns the loss of innocent lives and prays for the recovery of those injured.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara expressed his grief, emphasizing the community's resilience and unity in the face of tragedy. He announced free counseling services available to support those affected by the events.

"It's spring break, girls watching a movie. I can't even comprehend that," said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, solemnly.

Christian Soto has been charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and home invasion with a dangerous weapon. As the investigation continues, authorities are still trying to understand the motive behind this brutal attack.

Joe Biden also released a statement, expressing his horror at the attack and praising the heroic actions of local law enforcement in confronting the suspect and preventing further loss of innocent lives.

Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd said, "Words can't even express my thoughts right now. My heart goes out to the families right now who are suffering a loss."
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