Connect with us


22-year-old Christian Soto identified as Rockford stabbing suspect

The deceased include a 15-year-old girl, a 63-year-old woman, a 49-year-old Jay Larson, and a 22-year-old Jacob Schupbach, according to police reports.



22-year-old Christian Soto identified as Rockford stabbing suspect

Prior to Wednesday’s incident, 22-year-old Soto had only faced a criminal damage to property charge in Winnebago County, which was subsequently dismissed.

However, as per Winnebago Jail records, he now faces 12 charges of murder or intent to kill or injure, along with one charge of home invasion.

Police reported that Soto was apprehended just 20 minutes after the rampage on Wednesday, which occurred across several locations in the vicinity of Holmes Street, Winnetka Drive, and Cleveland Avenue on the east side of the city, apparently triggered by a home invasion.

“The young lady fled from him,” stated Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana. “She sustained stab wounds to her hands and face. Currently, she is hospitalized and on a ventilator. One of the bystanders intervened to assist her and received stab wounds as well.”

The victims, identified by the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office, include a 15-year-old girl named Jenna Newcomb, a 63-year-old woman named Romona Schupbach, and two men aged 22 and 49, identified as Jacob Schupbach and Jay Larson respectively.

Larson, a mail carrier, was reportedly struck by Soto as he attempted to flee the neighborhood.

During a press conference, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara shared that Newcomb’s mother recounted her daughter’s bravery, mentioning she sacrificed herself to shield her sister and friend.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley disclosed that Soto confessed to authorities about his acquaintance with one of the victims. Soto allegedly visited the victim’s residence to use marijuana.

According to Hanley, Soto claimed he suspected the drugs were adulterated with an unidentified substance, leading him to feel paranoid. Subsequently, Soto purportedly retrieved a knife from the kitchen and assaulted both the man and woman.

Following the stabbing, Hanley detailed that Soto assaulted Jay Larson, a mailman, inflicting several stab wounds, in the 2200-block of Winnetka Lane.

An eyewitness reported observing Larson being assaulted and struck by the suspect. Allegedly, Soto retrieved a knife from his truck and stabbed Larson before using his pickup truck to run over him.

Prosecutors stated that after colliding with a parked car, Soto ran over Larson a second time before fleeing the scene. According to the US Postal Service, Larson had been delivering mail in the vicinity for 25 years.

Parker Stuckey recounted witnessing a man, clad only in underwear and covered in mud, attempting to run over his neighbor with a truck. “He was on the ground, trying to get away from the truck,” Stuckey described. Hanley then detailed how Soto forcibly entered a residence in the 4000-block of Cleveland Avenue, wielding a “katana-style” knife, and assaulted three individuals.

Subsequently, after being struck with a bottle by one of the victims, Soto fled the scene.

Further down at the 4700-block of Cleveland Avenue, Hanley explained that Soto forcibly entered a home where three teenage girls were watching a movie in the basement. Soto proceeded to attack the girls with a bat, resulting in the death of one and injuries to two others.

Newcomb’s mother revealed that Jenna died while shielding her sister and a friend. Soto was apprehended in the vicinity of Florence Street and Eagleston Drive as he attacked a woman and a Good Samaritan who intervened to help her.

Both individuals are currently hospitalized. Officials stated that four of the injured have been treated and discharged as of Thursday. A vigil took place at 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Charles Street and Eggleston Road.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara issued a statement about the attack:

“Today, we are shocked by another horrific act of violence against innocent members of our community. We can report that the suspect is in custody and the threat has been neutralized. 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 are working with community partners to provide support and services quickly and conveniently to those residents. We will announce those details soon. 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.”

Police encourage residents in the area to please review video or any additional information you may have and to please contact the Rockford Police Department at 815-966-2900.