Bishop Offers Prayers for Victims, Celebrates Funeral Mas
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 4, 2024
ROCKFORD—Four people lost their lives during Holy Week in Rockford after a 22-year-old man went on a stabbing rampage around 1 p.m. March 27.  Seven other people were injured, some crtically.
The perpetrator of the deadly attacks, according to police reports,  was captured that afternoon at 1:35 p.m. and taken into custody. He faces multiple charges including murder, attempted murder and home invasion.
Upon hearing of the deadly attacks, Bishop David Malloy issued a statement to offer 
his prayers.
“I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the senseless stabbings in the last two days resulting in the loss of precious lives.
“I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences and prayers for all the victims and all those injured in these unprovoked acts of violence in the Rockford community. I offer my own prayers as well as those of the entire Catholic faithful in the 11 counties that make up our Diocese of Rockford.
“As we gather in the next few days to focus on the sacrifice of our Lord and celebrate the joy of the resurrection, we will surely ask God to comfort our brothers and sisters affected by these terrible acts and offer prayers for their recovery from injury and consolation in their grief.
“We also pray most fervently that our communities can live in peace and security and that those whose hearts are hardened by violence, anger or hatred may find the help they need to turn away from acts of evil.” 
The next day, Bishop Malloy again addressed the tragedy as he began his homily for the annual Chrism Mass. (See pages 1 and 4 of this issue.) Later on Holy Thursday March 28, at 2:30 p.m.,  Rockford area faith leaders organized a vigil in the neighborhood where the stabbings took place. Bishop Malloy and Fathers Brian Grady and Phillip Kaim attended the vigil.
Victims who died in the attack were Ramona Schupbach, 63; Jacob Schupbach, 23; Jay Larson, 49 and Jenna Newcomb, 15.  The first of the funerals for the victims was for Jay Larson, a 25-year veteran of  U.S. Postal Service in Rockford who was delivering mail during the stabbing rampage. Bishop Malloy celebrated his funeral Mass on April 3 at the Cathedral of St. Peter. 
According to police the incident is still under investigation. "This is a very active and multi-level, multi-agency investigation and has an extensive amount of moving parts,” the police release said. “As with any investigation, further details and charges may come at a later date.”
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