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Illinois Man Charged With Killing 4 In Rampage Blamed On 'Laced' Pot

A 22-year-old Rockford, Ill., man went on a rampage through his neighborhood after smoking marijuana he claimed was “laced” with an unknown narcotic, authorities said, leaving four dead and seven others injured in in a 20-minute span. The Wednesday attack began when Christian Soto ran over and stabbed to death the friend he said gave him the drugs and turned the knife on the friend’s mother, killing her. He then beat, stabbed and twice ran over a postal worker, and entered several other nearby homes, beating three teenage girls who were watching a movie. One of them, a 15-year-old, died trying to protect the others, reports the Washington Post. Police have not yet established a motive for Soto’s reign of terror, attacking neighbors on a spring break afternoon with items he found in their homes. said Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd .

Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said Soto appeared “conscious” of what he was doing. Rockford police said they took Soto into custody after officers responded about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday to “multiple addresses." Prosecutors charged him with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of home invasion. Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara described the rampage as a “huge blow” to the community of about 147,000, about 80 miles northwest of Chicago. He said residents were already shaken over the stabbing death of an 18-year-old Walmart employee. “It’s hard to grasp how this could happen and how emotional and raw the community is,” the mayor said. “This has been one of the most difficult weeks I have seen in my seven years as Mayor. As a dad, a son, a husband, the Mayor and a Rockford supporter, my heart is breaking for those who have lost their lives, their families and our community.”


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