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Fugitive suspect in shooting deaths of 8 in Joliet area is dead in Texas


A 23-year-old man suspected in the shooting deaths of eight people and the wounding of another man in the Joliet area died from a self-inflicted gunshot Monday night as he was being pursued by U.S. marshals near San Antonio, Texas.

A source confirmed to the Sun-Times that Romeo Nance had shot himself during a confrontation with federal authorities in Natalia, Texas, a town about 30 miles southwest of San Antonio around 8:30 p.m. Monday. Joliet police also later confirmed that Nance had been found dead.

The apparent suicide ended a two-day rampage that included the worst violence some suburban police had ever seen.

Officers on Monday found “multiple deceased individuals” with gunshot wounds in two homes in the 2200 block of West Acres Road, Joliet police said in a statement on its Facebook page. Those murders of seven people, whom police believe were all related to Nance, came after he killed another man on Sunday.

“I’ve been a policeman for 29 years; this is probably the worst crime scene I’ve ever been associated with,” Bill Evans, the Joliet chief of police, said at a news conference.

A Will County sheriff’s official said officers had been staking out the scene of a shooting Sunday, hoping the suspect, Romeo Nance, would return. On Monday they went to his last-known address, and then to a related residence nearby, where they found blood.

A Will County sheriff’s official said officers had been staking out the scene of a shooting Sunday, hoping the suspect, Romeo Nance, would return. On Monday they went to his last-known address, and then to a related residence nearby, where they found blood.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

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Officers on Monday found “multiple deceased individuals” with gunshot wounds in two homes in the 2200 block of West Acres Road in Joliet.

Previously considered “armed and dangerous,” the suspect, Nance, had a criminal history, Evans said.

Investigators have not released the victims’ ages, genders or relationships to each other.

Dan Jungles, the deputy chief of the Will County Sheriff’s Office, said officers had been staking out the scene of Sunday’s shooting overnight after they identified Nance’s vehicle as being connected.

One man was killed in that shooting in unincorporated Joliet Township.

When Nance didn’t return to the scene, officers went to check his last-known address in the 2200 block of West Acres Road in Joliet, Jungles said. Officers then went across the street to a “related” home and found blood outside, prompting them to enter, where they found two victims.

Officers then went across the street and found the other five victims. 

Police work the scene in the 2200 block of West Acres Road in Joliet on Monday night. Authorities found shooting victims at two homes on the block Monday. “I’ve been a policeman for 29 years; this is probably the worst crime scene I’ve ever been associated with,” Bill Evans, the Joliet chief of police, said.

Police work the scene in the 2200 block of West Acres Road in Joliet on Monday night. Authorities found shooting victims at two homes on the block Monday. “I’ve been a policeman for 29 years; this is probably the worst crime scene I’ve ever been associated with,” Bill Evans, the Joliet chief of police, said.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Will County court records indicate that Nance was on bond for a January 2023 arrest on multiple gun counts, including aggravated discharge and reckless discharge of a firearm.

Patch.com reported last year that Joliet police arrested Nance after he was allegedly involved in a car chase in which Nance opened fire from a car on another vehicle, and shot up a residence in the 1300 block of Brentwood Place. About three weeks after the shooting, police surveilled Nance’s home and took him into custody after they watched him climb into a car in which they found a .380-caliber handgun. Nance, police said, struggled with officers during the arrest.

Crime scene, coroner’s and investigators set up a command post at a parking lot near the scene of the slayings. “I keep looking out the window and double-checking my doors,” one neighbor said. “It’s super-scary.”

Crime scene, coroner’s and investigators set up a command post at a parking lot near the scene of the slayings. “I keep looking out the window and double-checking my doors,” one neighbor said. “It’s super-scary.”

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

He also was charged a few days later with obstructing a police officer. In February, he was charged with criminal damage to government property, and a week later, battery causing bodily harm.

Nance’s lawyer in those cases did not immediately respond to a call from the Chicago Sun-Times.

This week’s investigation began when deputies were called about 4:30 p.m. Sunday to the Pheasant Run Apartments in unincorporated Joliet Township and found a man with a gunshot wound to his head, the sheriff’s office said.

Toyosi Bakare, a 28-year-old from Nigeria, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, the sheriff’s office said. Bakare had been living in the U.S. for about three years.

The sheriff’s office said a similar shooting occurred about 10 minutes earlier Sunday, also in Joliet.

A 42-year-old man was found shot in his leg in the 200 block of Davis Street, the sheriff’s office said, adding that the victims in the two Sunday shootings were not connected, and the incidents appear to be random.

On Monday evening, police had closed off West Acres Road from Madison Street to Springfield Avenue for their investigation.

Police and sheriff’s officials established a command post in a nearby parking lot.

Teresa Smart lives about a block away from where seven of the victims were found and said she worries that she and her family won’t be able to sleep tonight.

“This is way too close to home,” she said, adding that police cars are blocking streets throughout the neighborhood. “I keep looking out the window and double-checking my doors,” she said. “It’s super-scary.”

A group of family and friends of the victims gathered in the same parking lot, embracing each other.

Contributing: Jon Seidel, Associated Press

Investigators work one of two homes on  West Acres Road in Joliet on Monday night.

Investigators work one of two homes on West Acres Road in Joliet on Monday night.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Police investigate the slayings of eight people and the wounding of another over two days in Joliet.

Police investigate the slayings of eight people and the wounding of another over two days in Joliet.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times





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