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Eight dead in Joliet, Illinois, killings; suspect dead in Texas after manhunt

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(JOLIET, Ill.) — Seven people were found shot to death in two homes in the Chicago suburb of Joliet, Illinois, on Monday in what one official described as the “worst crime scene I’ve ever been associated with.”

The suspect in the horrific crimes, Romeo Nance, died of a what was believed to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. Police identified Nance, 23, after they discovered the bodies of five victims in one home and another two in a nearby residence on West Acres Road Monday morning.

An eighth person, found dead on Sunday in Joliet Township, is also believed to have been killed by Nance, police said.

Late Monday night, the police said Nance had been located by U.S. Marshals near Natalia, Texas, and it was “believed that Nance took his own life with a handgun following a confrontation with Texas law enforcement officials.”

Officers had been watching one of the homes as part of an investigation into two shootings that took place Sunday, Dan Jungles, the deputy chief of Special Operations for the Will County, Illinois, Sheriff’s office, said at a press conference Monday night. Jungles said officers knocked on the house door they were watching before noon Monday but went to a nearby house when they got no response.

“They knew that the house across the street was related to the individuals that resided at that house,” he said. “They walked over there, and that’s when they discovered the blood and made entry into the house to look for injured individuals.”

Details of the victims were not immediately released, but Joliet Police Chief Bill Evans told reporters that the victims were related. He also addressed the scene officers found.

“I’ve been a policeman 29 years. This is probably the worst crime scene I’ve ever been associated with,” Evans said.

Jungles said the victims in the homes were “known to Nance.” Nance’s last known address was on the block where the crimes were discovered, authorities said Monday night.

Nance was believed to be driving a red Toyota Camry, police said earlier. The same red Toyota Camry was also identified in an investigation into two shootings that took place in Joliet on Sunday.

The Sheriff’s office said that officers responded to an emergency call at Pheasant Run Apartments in Joliet township Sunday, where they discovered Toyosi Bakare, 28, had suffered a gunshot wound to the head. Bakare was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Jungles.

An hour before responding to the Pheasant Run Apartments call, Joliet Police officers responded to the 200 block of Davis Street, where they said they discovered a 42-year-old man who had sustained a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his leg.

The sheriff’s office began surveillance on the West Acres Road home after they learned the Camry was associated with the address and waited to see if it would return to the residence, officers said.

“During this investigation, Detectives quickly identified 23-year-old Romeo Nance as a suspect in the homicides on West Acres Road and it was believed that he was also involved in a fatal shooting being investigated by the Will County Sheriff’s Office as well as a non-fatal shooting in Joliet,” authorities said late Monday night. “Both of these shootings took place on January 21, 2024.”

Evans said the investigation is ongoing, and no motive has been determined, but he said he believes that the Sunday shootings “had some correlation” with the scene they discovered Monday.

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