Watch CBS News

Suspect dead in Texas after 8 people are killed at 3 locations in Joliet, Illinois

Joliet manhunt subject found dead in Texas
Joliet manhunt subject found dead in Texas 00:44

JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) -- Eight people were found shot and killed in three different locations over two days in Joliet, and the suspect in the slayings was also found dead by a suspected suicide 1,200 miles away Monday night, police said.

The apparent self-inflicted gunshot death of 23-year-old Romeo Nance in Texas followed a manhunt by multiple law enforcement agencies.

At a news conference, Joliet Police Chief Bill Evans said his officers were notified by the Will County Sheriff's office at 12:04 p.m. Monday about several people found dead in two separate houses in the 2200 block of West Acres Road near Madison Street.

Responding officers found a total of seven people in two houses who had all been shot dead, Evans said.

Police update: Seven people found shot to death in two Joliet houses 10:11

Joliet police said immediately after announcing the Monday shooting deaths that they were looking for Nance. He was believed to have been driving a red Toyota Camry, Nance's last known address had been on the same block of Acres Road, Evans said. Evans said Nance knew the victims found in the two houses, and it was believed they were all related.

Will County Sheriff's deputies had discovered the bodies as they investigated an earlier shooting, which had left a man dead in an unincorporated area just outside Joliet proper the day before. The common link was the red Toyota Camry associated with Nance.

Joliet Police/Will County Sheriff's office/CBS 2

At 4:27 p.m. Sunday, the Will County Sheriff's office was called to the Pheasant Run Apartments, off Pheasant Run Road in unincorporated Joliet Township, where they found a man bleeding on the ground from a gunshot wound. The 28-year-old man, who was originally from Nigeria and had lived in the United States for about three years, was rushed to an area hospital and died.

The Will County Coroner's office identified this victim as Toyosi I. Bakare, 28, of Joliet.

About 10 minutes earlier, a 42-year-old man had been shot in the leg in the 200 block of Davis Street in Joliet. That victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The Will County Sheriff's office said these earlier incidents appeared random – and the two victims were not connected. However, according to the sheriff's office, the same car with the same license plate associated with Nance was spotted at both scenes.

Will County Sheriff's Deputy Chief Dan Jungles said detectives were investigating the deadly Sunday shooting a day later – and had set up a surveillance area on Acres Road, where the registered owner of the car lived.

Deputies walked to a house and knocked on the door, Jungles said. When they received no response, they knew the people who lived in a house across the street were related to those living in the first house, Jungles said.

The deputies found blood as they entered the houses to look for injured people.

Ultimately, five people were found dead in one house at 2225 W. Acres Rd., and two were found dead in the other at 2212 W. Acres Rd., the sheriff's office said.

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

Eight people dead in Joliet killing spree 03:04

Joliet police announced a manhunt for Nance was underway Monday evening, and warned that he was armed and dangerous. But another horrible twist in the case came before the night's end.

Around 8:30 p.m. Monday, Joliet police learned Nance had been spotted by U.S. Marshals in Natalia, Texas – 30 miles southwest of San Antonio. Natalia, Texas, is 1,200 miles from Joliet – more than an 18-hour drive. Joliet police said Nance was found in a car at a Valero gas station.

It is believed that Nance died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after a confrontation with Texas law enforcement, according to Joliet police.

Nance's prior arrest records indicated that he was previously arrested for aggravated discharge of a weapon involving a woman. Court records show Nance was out on bond in connection with that 2023 shooting case and was still awaiting trial.

Speaking before Nance was found dead, several distraught neighbors in Joliet said they were disturbed by the violence – and what appeared to be the strange and random nature of the crimes.

"It's frightening that this is so close to home. I literally live like probably four houses down, and I have a young daughter, and it's crazy," said Laura Bane. "This is a neighborhood – there's a park right down the street. It's crazy that there are young kids – they get off the bus right here."

"Really angry about it. I'm speechless. I can't even really talk about it," another woman said. "It's shocking to me that this stuff doesn't just happen on TV. It's real."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.