Full Comments From Today’s Press Conference

Joliet Police Chief Bill Evans: On January 22, 2024, at 12:08 PM, Officers responded to the 2200 block of West Acres Road following notification from Deputies from the Will County Sheriff’s Office, that while conducting investigative work in response to a homicide that took place in their jurisdiction on January 21, 2024, Deputies located seven total deceased individuals in two homes. While Deputies were on the scene, they discovered evidence of a possible crime scene at a residence at 2212 West Acres Road. Deputies made entry into the residence and located four females, ages 14, 16, 20, and 38, and one 31-year-old male, deceased from gunshot wounds. Deputies then discovered another possible crime scene at 2225 West Acres Road and made entry into this home as well, locating a 47-year-old female and 35-year-old male also deceased from gunshot wounds. Deputies contacted Officers and Detectives from the Joliet Police Department to respond to the scene. At this time, it is believed that the shootings on West Acres Road took place during the midday hours of January 21, 2024. The shootings that took place on West Acres Road appear to be domestic in nature.

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 non-fatal shooting of a 42-year-old male victim in the 200 block of Davis Street in Joliet as well as a fatal shooting being investigated by the Will County Sheriff’s Office. Both shootings took place during the early evening hours of January 21, 2024. At the time, information about Romeo Nance and the vehicle that he was believed to be driving were disseminated to the public and media outlets and Nance was believed to be armed and dangerous.

At approximately 8:30 PM on January 22, 2024, the Joliet Police Department learned that Nance had been located by US Marshals and other Texas law enforcement partners near Natalia, Texas at which time it is believed that Nance took his own life with a handgun following a confrontation with Texas law enforcement officials.

Identification of the victims and manner of death will be determined by the Will County Coroner’s Office. The Joliet Police Department wishes to thank the Will County State’s Attorney Office, Will County Sheriff’s Office, the Deputies of the Will County Coroner’s Office, Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, and out of state and federal law enforcement partners or their continued assistance with this investigation. This continues to be an open and active investigation. Further information will be provided when it becomes available.

Will County Sheriffs Office Deputy Chief Dan Jungles: On 01/21/2024, at approximately 4:27 PM the Will County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call regarding a
shooting that occurred at the Pheasant Run Apartments located at 5 Pheasant Run Road in Unincorporated Joliet Township. While deputies were enroute, they were advised that there was a subject laying on the ground bleeding from the head.

Deputies located a critically injured male, later identified as Toyosi Bakare age 28, and began to perform life saving measures. Mr. Bakare had a single gun shot wound to his head, which entered 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.

While deputies were securing the crime scene, they learned that another shooting occurred in the City of Joliet in the 200 block of Davis Street a short time prior. The victim reported to members of the Joliet Police Department that the suspect vehicle in this incident was a Red Toyota.

Toyosi Bakare was transported to St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet in critical condition, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Our hearts break for the Bakare family and for those that have been affected by this senseless act of violence. Once detectives and Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) were on scene, it was clear that robbery was not the motive of this crime. Deputies located money in the area where Mr. Bakare was shot. 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.

By 8:00 PM, law enforcement was able to identify a suspect vehicle, which was a red Toyota Camry bearing Illinois license plate Q73 0412. Detectives utilized License Plate Reader (LPR) cameras to track the suspect’s vehicle throughout the Will County area. The suspect vehicle was known to be used by Joliet resident Romeo Nance, who had an extensive criminal history. Personnel with the Will County Sheriff’s Office began to focus on locating the suspect vehicle by conducting saturation patrols throughout the local area, focusing on residents that were associated with Romeo Nance.

When the vehicle could not be located, detectives with the Will County Sheriff’s Office set up surveillance in the 2200 block of West Acres in Joliet in hopes that the vehicle would return to a residence. When the vehicle could not be located, and the vehicle’s movements were no longer active, as a matter of public safety, the Will County Sheriff’s Office released information regarding the suspect vehicle 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.

Detectives went to 2212 West Acres to contact the registered owner of the suspect vehicle. Detectives received no response at that residence. Knowing the house across the street was also associated to the suspect and his family, detectives attempted to make contract with residents inside of that home. Upon detectives approaching, they noticed blood on the outside of the door and bullet holes on the exterior of the house located at 2225 West Acres. Detectives attempted to contact occupants inside the residence and under exigency circumstances made entry into the home locating two deceased individuals. Detectives notified the Joliet Police Department of their findings and additional police personnel began to respond to the scene. 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 deceased individuals inside of that residence.

All available law enforcement resources including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United States Marshals Service (USMS) were being utilized to locate Romeo Nance and the suspect vehicle. Shortly before 6:00 PM, members of the Will County Sheriff’s Office who were coordinating with the United States Marshals Service advised that Romeo Nance was believed to be traveling in the State of Texas.

By 8:00 PM, a helicopter had located the suspect vehicle on I-35, and Texas law enforcement were mobilizing additional personnel to stop the vehicle. The Will County Sheriff’s Office learned that the suspect Romeo Nance pulled his vehicle into a gas station located in Natalia, Texas. Task Force Officers with the United States Marshals Service observed Romeo Nance exit his vehicle with a firearm and flee on foot once he observed law enforcement. Fearing he was about to be caught, Romeo Nance shot himself as law enforcement was beginning to close in on him.

As a reminder, these investigations are still in their infancy, and detectives are still gathering additional information and evidence must be processed by the crime labs. We know that there may be many questions that that you may have regarding the motives or circumstances involving this case. Many cases like these we may never know the truth or the motives behind these senseless killings.

So many agencies were involved in bringing these cases to a conclusion. The Will County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Joliet Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers, and the many other agencies in this state and in Texas whose Task Force Officers assisted in the capture of Romeo Nance. Mr. Nance’s reign of terror in our communities in Will County is now over. With so much sadness that surrounds these incidents, it is time for our communities to come together to heal.