'Romeo Nance's Reign Of Terror' In Joliet Is Over: Sheriff's Office

JOLIET, IL — Just two hours from reaching the border with Mexico, 23-year-old Joliet fugitive Romeo Nance, wanted for mass murder, encountered a Texas police helicopter hovering over his red Toyota Camry on Monday night. By that point, Nance had removed the Illinois license plates, replacing them with Texas license plates he stole at a shopping mall, Joliet Police Chief Bill Evans revealed at Tuesday’s press conference.

Police surmise that Nance may have been trying to escape the United States and make it to Mexico.

“From what our investigation has revealed, we do think that he stopped at a mall someplace in Texas and he was able to steal some Texas license plates and put them on the vehicle to throw off law enforcement,” Evans explained. “That’s what the theory is right now.”

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Evans said Nance did not have any family members in Texas.

“No known Texas connection at this point,” Evans replied. “We do not believe that he had any relatives or any connection to the state of Texas.”

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Around 8 p.m. Monday, with the police helicopter closing in and several members of the Texas fugitive task force gaining ground, Nance turned off Interstate 35 and pulled into a Chubby’s gas station in Natalia, according to Dan Jungles of the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

Nance grabbed his gun, still loaded with ammunition, and ran from his car with several police officers closing in on him, Jungles said.

“It was at that time they gave chase to him,” Jungles said. “He rounded the corner, rounded the gas station, and decided to take his own life.”

Joliet police said that all seven of Sunday’s city of Joliet homicide victims were believed to be relatives of Romeo Nance, and he lived, back and forth, between the two family homes at 2212 and 2225 West Acres Road, according to his extensive criminal history at the Will County Courthouse.

Will County Coroner Laurie Summers announced on Facebook that the homicide victims are:

The other two victims were minors: a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl, according to the coroner, who did not release their names.

“Mr. Nance’s reign of terror in our communities in Will County is now over,” Jungles declared at Tuesday’s press conference. “With so much sadness that surrounds these incidents, it is time for our communities to come together to heal.”

2 Victims At 2225 West Acres

On Monday, around noon, Will County detectives made entry into the home at 2225 West Acres and found two people dead from gunshots — a man and a woman.

Members of the Will County Sheriff’s Office and the Joliet Police Department then made entry to the residence located at 2212 West Acres and discovered five more bodies inside that house. The Joliet police and Will County went to the second house because they already knew that the house across the street was also associated with Romeo Nance and his family.

“Through our investigation, we are now comfortable saying that this multi-victim homicide occurred Sunday afternoon,” Evans noted.

During the investigation at the two homes, police said they learned a 3-year-old boy was unaccounted for, but he was found with a relative in another community, Evans said.

Romeo Nance Fled Joliet After Pheasant Run Apartment Killing: Cops

At 4:27 p.m. Sunday, the Will County Sheriff’s Office said it received a 911 call regarding a shooting at the Pheasant Run Apartments along Route 53 in unincorporated Joliet Township. Toyosi Bakare, 28, who came to Joliet three years ago from Nigeria, suffered one gunshot to his head, near his left eye.

“It is believed that the weapon used in this senseless, random attack was a 9mm handgun, but further confirmation is needed from the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory,” Jungles remarked at Tuesday’s news conference.

Ten minutes earlier, another man had suffered a non-fatal wound in a shooting in the 200 block of Davis Street in the City of Joliet.

“It was clear that robbery was not the motive of this crime. Deputies located money in the area where Mr. Bakare was shot,” Jungles said. “Detectives learned that Mr. Bakare had exited his residence to go buy cigarettes when he was senselessly gunned down by the suspect. Video surveillance recovered at the scene showed the suspect vehicle both entering and exiting the Pheasant Run Apartment complex, which matched the shooting that had occurred in the City of Joliet. Detectives with the Will County Sheriff’s Office and the Joliet Police department began to collaborate and investigate these two shootings that appeared to be random but connected.”

While sheriff’s deputies were at the Pheasant Run Apartments, they learned about the earlier shooting on Davis Street. The victim in that case was shot in the leg.

Joliet Police Department learned the shooter’s vehicle was also a red Toyota.

Starting Sunday night, Will County detectives conducted surveillance outside one of the West Acres Road homes after tracing the registration on the vehicle.

On Monday morning, when the red Toyota Camry could still not be found, and the car’s movements were no longer active, the Will County Sheriff’s Office said it released information regarding the suspect vehicle and its license plates to the public.

“It was at this point that we believed that Mr. Nance had fled the Will County area and was no longer a danger to the public,” Evans announced at the press conference.

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It was also Monday that detectives discovered the bodies inside the two homes on West Acres.

“Once we couldn’t locate the vehicle … that’s when we decided to try to make contact with the homeowner,” Jungles said. Investigators noticed blood and bullet holes outside the home.

Five victims — the teen girls, Alexandria Nance, Christine Esters and Joshua Nance — were found at 2212 West Acres, while Tameka Nance and William Esters were found at 2225 West Acres, police said.

Motive For Family Killings

Jungles said that Joliet police and Will County have not nailed down a motive for Nance’s decision to kill his family members. The other two shootings were believed to be people he selected at random, including the young man from Nigeria.

. “We know there may be many questions that you have regarding this case and motives and circumstances involved in this incident,” Jungles said. “Many cases like this, we may never know the truth for the motives behind these senseless killings.”

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