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Tragic Incident Leaves Four Dead and Five Injured in Rockford, Illinois

ROCKFORD, Ill. (CBS) — Four people were killed and five others were injured in an attack on Wednesday afternoon in Rockford, Illinois. Police said some of the victims were stabbed.

The brutal attack ripped through one neighborhood in a span of about 20 minutes. First, Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said there was a home invasion near the intersection of Florence Street and Eggleston Road. A young woman trying to get away was stabbed in the face and hands and seriously wounded. A Good Samaritan who tried to help her also was stabbed.

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The 911 calls for the stabbing victims came in one after the other, as the attacker went on a rampage in the area of Holmes Street, Winnetka Drive, and Cleveland Avenue in Rockford. Calls for police and paramedics were soon coming in at multiple scenes in Rockford and surrounding parts of Winnebago County.

Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd said a total of four people were killed, one person was critically injured, and four other people were taken to hospitals, where their conditions were stabilized. Redd said not all of the victims were stabbed, but there were no gunshot victims.

The people who were killed were a 15-year-old girl, a 63-year-old woman, a 49-year-old man, and a 22-year-old man. A suspect, also a 22-year-old man, was in custody late Wednesday. He was apprehended around 1:35 p.m.

“It’s just devastation for all of us,” said Rockford resident Ruth Gallagher. “It’s a blur. It’s just a nightmare.”

Gallagher said her longtime mailman was among the dead. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service confirmed a letter carrier was killed in the attack.

Witnesses said the letter carrier might have been struck by a pickup truck during the violence.

“The mail carrier – he was the kindest person. He would help anybody; would step in and help – always friendly,” said Gallagher. “We will miss him.”

Police late Wednesday said they do not know the motive behind the attack.

“I think like most Rockfordians, just totally shaken by this act of violence, and the impact that it’s having now has on multiple families’ lives,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

Since the massive crime scene spans both city and county limits, investigators are asking anyone with a surveillance camera to look through it for any video that may be of assistance.

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