ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Judge Debra Schafer has denied a request for a new trial for Raheem King, 27, the man convicted of killing three men with an assault-style rifle aboard a party bus in 2018.

King was found guilty of First Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking, and Aggravated Unlawful Restraint in August 2020 for the April 7th, 2018 slaying of Sean Anderson, Martavies Blake, and Dajon Sistrunk.

The shooting happened on Auburn Street and Johnston Avenue. The driver of the private charter party bus drove about a mile after the shooting to a Mobil Gas Station on Springfield Avenue to call the police.

At the trial, King’s defense said he was forced to take action in self-defense. Earlier in the bench trial, prosecutors questioned whether the victims were actually armed at all. But King testified two of the men pointed guns at him after he walked onto the bus with his rifle.

King said he was scared and panicked and said he opened fire to keep himself and his family safe.

With his motion for a new trial denied, King is set to be sentenced for the crime on July 14th, 2023.