4 dead and 7 injured in Illinois stabbings; suspect in custody: police

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Police in Illinois said 4 people, including a mail carrier, are dead and 7 injured after a series of attacks by a suspect in a southeast Rockford neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.

Police announced that they took a 22-year-old male suspect into custody at 1:35 p.m. after the bloody rampage. The suspect’s identity wasn’t immediately released.

Rockford’s population is about 150,000 and it’s 90 miles (144.84 kilometers) miles northwest of Chicago.

The first 911 call came in around 1:15 p.m., authorities said.

Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said the suspect was involved in a home invasion. A female victim is receiving treatment for stab wounds. Caruana said a good Samaritan who intervened in the attack is also receiving medical care.

The suspect then allegedly continued to attack people throughout the neighborhood.

Resident Eric Patterson said he was struggling to make sense of the violence on his street.

“You can’t rationalize this,” Patterson told the Rockford Register Star. “It’s almost like playing a video game, but it’s reality. It makes no sense. It’s like Grand Theft Auto. ‘I’m going to run over the mailman here. I’m going to stab a couple people there. I am going to go in this house over here.’”

(Credit: WTVO)
(Credit: WTVO)

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd confirmed that four people had died. The four deceased victims were a 15-year-old female, a 63-year-old female, a 49-year-old male and a 22-year-old female, police said.

“My heart goes out to the families right now that are suffering a loss,” Redd told reporters.

Redd said not all of the victims were stabbed, and added that there was no known motive for the crimes.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara released a statement following the attack, saying, “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,” McNamara said.

The City of Rockford said emotional support and counseling services will be offered free of charge at Flinn Middle School, at 2525 Ohio Pkwy, beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

Rep. Dave Vella (D-Rockford) issued the following statement: “I am heartbroken by the actions of the perpetrator of these horrible stabbings in Rockford today. These victims deserve to be safe and secure in their homes from violence that they didn’t ask for and don’t deserve. They need our support now and my office is ready and willing to do what we can to help. I am committed to working closely with Mayor McNamara and other authorities to help these neighbors of ours to address this senseless violence and ensure that justice is served.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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