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63-year-old woman, teenage girl, two others killed in U.S. stabbing spree

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A man armed with a knife went on a stabbing spree in the U.S. state of Illinois, killing four people, including a teenage girl, and injuring at least five others.

Police in Rockford say the attacks occurred following a home invasion on Wednesday afternoon. One of the injured is in a critical condition.

In a statement by the police, the victims are a 15-year-old girl, a 63-year-old woman, a 49-year-old man, and a 22-year-old man.

Police have arrested and questioned a man, 22, but the police chief has not revealed the motive for the killings.

A young woman suffered stab wounds to her hands and face after running away from the suspect, according to Winnebago Country Sheriff Gary Caruana.

The hospital is now intubating the woman.

Another man, described by Sheriff Caruana as a “good Samaritan,” sustained less serious stab wounds after trying to intervene to help the woman.

Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd said that not all of the victims had been stabbed, but added that none had suffered gunshot wounds.

She said police did not believe there were any other suspects at large.

“Words can’t even express my thoughts right now…” she said. “My heart goes out to the families right now who are suffering a loss.”

Ruth Gallagher, a resident of Rockford, told CBS that her long-time postman was among the dead, and the US Postal Service confirmed the death of a postman.

“He was the kindest person,” Ms. Gallagher said. “He would help anybody; he would step in and help. Always friendly. It’s just devastation for all of us. It’s just a nightmare.”

In a statement, Rockford city mayor Tom McNamara said his heart was “breaking for those who have lost their lives, their families, and our community.”

“This is, obviously, a huge blow to all of us; however, in Rockford fashion, we get knocked down, sometimes too much, but we always get back up stronger.”

He added that free counselling services would be made available on Thursday and Friday at Flinn Middle School in Rockford.

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