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Mother attacked by Rockford knifeman praises son and dog for survival

A family caught up in the stabbing spree in Illinois on Wednesday, which left four dead and seven injured, says they survived because of their dog and the actions of their son.

Suspect Christian Soto allegedly broke into Darlene Weber’s home in Rockford after having already killed four people and injured two others.

On Thursday, prosecutors explained how they believe Mr Soto, 22, had forced his way into the house on Cleveland Avenue when Ms Weber opened her door to let the family dog out.

“It all happened like such a blink of an eye,” Ms Weber told NBC News. “Remembering back, it was almost like he literally tried to kill me.”

Mr Soto allegedly stabbed her in the face as he made his way into the home, where the mother was at home with her two children, Jacob Vollman, 21, and Cathy Gilfillan, 23.

“He looked at me he just had the world’s biggest smile on his face,” Mr Vollman told NBC News.

Christian Soto is accused of multiple counts of murder (Rockford Police)
Christian Soto is accused of multiple counts of murder (Rockford Police)

Mr Soto was reportedly covered in blood already, having allegedly killed his friend Jacob Schupbach, 23, his friend’s mother Ramona Schupbach, 63, mailman Jay Larson, 49, and 15-year-old Jenna Newcomb.

After stabbing Ms Weber, the family dog, Brandy, bit Mr Soto on the leg. At this point, Mr Vollman said he grabbed a syrup bottle and started beating the attacker with it.

"I’m not even kidding. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I’d be standing here talking to you right now," Ms Weber added. "I really don’t. It was frightening."

Ms Gilfillan had just woken from a nap, hearing screams, and ran upstairs to find her brother fighting the attacker.

The man then turned to her and hit her, before her brother hit him again.

At this point, Mr Soto reportedly left the home, heading for his next victim – a woman in her home on Florence Street and Eggleston Road, who he stabbed multiple times.

She was later saved by a so-called “Good Samaritan” driver who stopped to help her and was also attacked.

Police investigate stabbings that left several people dead in Rockford, Illinois (AP)
Police investigate stabbings that left several people dead in Rockford, Illinois (AP)

Mr Soto reportedly told police officers that he was at Mr Schupbach’s home smoking marijuana, which he said was laced with some kind of narcotic.

He allegedly became paranoid, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, and attacked his friend and Ms Schupbach, before fleeing.

Prosecutors say Mr Soto then stabbed and ran over mailman Jay Larson in the street, before breaking into the home of Jenna Newcomb and beating her, her sister, and friend with a softball bat.

Ms Weber’s home was allegedly next, before the incident involving the Good Samaritan, where police showed up and arrested him.

The 22-year-old, who lives in the same neighbourhood, is facing four first degree murder charges, as well as multiple attempted murder charges and two home invasion charges.

He is next due in court on 2 April.