Reign of terror': Motive remains a mystery in 8 killings, suspect dead

In a shocking and tragic series of events, Joliet, Illinois, became the backdrop for a reign of terror that left eight people dead and nine others injured.

The suspect, 23-year-old Romeo Nance, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a police standoff in Natalia, Texas.

The spree of violence unfolded on Sunday, with Nance allegedly carrying out four separate shootings in Joliet.

Seven victims, including 20-year-old Alexandria Nance, 38-year-old Christine Esters, 47-year-old Tamaeka Nance, 35-year-old William Esters II, and 31-year-old Joshua Nance, were killed in two homes in Joliet. The victims also included a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl.

The motive behind Nance's actions remains a perplexing mystery. Authorities, including Dan Jungles, the chief deputy of criminal investigations at the Will County Sheriff's Office, expressed uncertainty, stating, "We may never know the truth or motives.

Joliet Police Chief Bill Evans echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the challenge of understanding the perpetrator's actions.

The tragic discovery of the crime scenes deeply impacted law enforcement officials. Evans, a seasoned police officer with 29 years of experience, called it "probably the worst crime scene I've ever been associated with.

The victims in the two homes were reportedly related to Nance, intensifying the horror of the situation.

The pursuit of Nance led investigators to Texas after U.S. Marshals located him near Natalia. A confrontation ensued, resulting in Nance taking his own life with a handgun.

The investigation had initially begun following two shootings on January 21, 2024, including a fatal shooting in Joliet Township.

The timeline of events also included a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to a 42-year-old man on Davis Street in Joliet, an hour before the discovery at Pheasant Run Apartments.

Detectives swiftly identified Romeo Nance as the suspect in these incidents, linking him to the homicides on West Acres Road.

As the investigation continues, Joliet residents mourn the loss of lives and grapple with the unsettling reality that their city has become the scene of an inexplicable tragedy.