The police in Joliet, Ill., were searching on Monday for a suspect in the fatal shooting of eight people, seven of whom were found dead in two homes on the same block on the city’s east side, the authorities said.
The suspect, Romeo Nance, 23, was believed to be driving a red Toyota Camry, and “should be regarded as armed and dangerous,” the Joliet Police Department said in a statement posted to Facebook.
The authorities said that they had discovered seven of the bodies — two in one home, and five in another — on Monday, and that they believed that a fatal shooting on Sunday afternoon about four miles southeast was connected.
The police were notified of the seven bodies by the Will County Sheriff’s Office just after 12 p.m. Monday, Chief William Evans of the Joliet Police Department said at a news conference on Monday evening. The motive for the killings was unclear, but the police believe that Mr. Nance knew the victims, who appeared to have been related to one another, Chief Evans said.
The authorities said that the last known address for the suspect was one of the homes where the bodies were found. They would not provide the ages of the seven victims or any further details on how they might have known the suspect.
“I’ve been a policeman 29 years,” he said. “This is probably the worst crime scene I’ve ever been associated with.”
Daniel Jungles, a deputy chief with the Will County Sheriff’s Office, said at the news conference that deputies had responded on Sunday to a shooting at an apartment block in unincorporated Juliet that may be connected to the other seven victims. There, deputies found a man with a gunshot wound to his head, he said. The man, Toyosi Bakare, 28, was transported to a hospital, where he died of his injuries, Deputy Jungles said.
Deputies linked that fatal shooting to an episode about 10 minutes earlier in which a 42-year-old man was shot in the leg and “sustained non-life-threatening injuries,” according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Nance’s red Toyota was seen at both crime scenes, according to the release, which described the victims as having nothing to do with one another, and Sunday’s shootings as “random in nature.”
Joliet, around 35 miles southwest of Chicago, is the third most populous city in Illinois, with more than 150,000 people. “We are putting everything in our power to bring this individual to justice,” Deputy Jungles said at the news conference, as he encouraged residents to “remain vigilant.”