A man murdered eight people in Illinois before killing himself hundreds of miles away. His motive is a mystery

Romeo Nance is believed to have killed eight people in Chicago (via REUTERS)
Romeo Nance is believed to have killed eight people in Chicago (via REUTERS)

A man suspected of killing eight people in a Chicago suburb took his own life following a confrontation with federal law enforcement hundreds of miles away in Texas.

Romeo Nance, 23, was found dead on Monday near Natalia, Texas, more than 1,000 miles from where he is believed to have killed eight people at three locations on Sunday and Monday in the south Chicago suburb of Joliet.

The discovery of Nance’s body ended a huge manhunt for the suspect, who authorities warned “should be regarded as armed and dangerous”.

While the victims have not yet been identified, investigators say Nance knew seven of the victims, who are believed to be from the same family.

Following Nance’s death, many questions remain as to his motive and why he travelled to Texas.

Here’s all we know so far:

Eight people killed in Chicago

Police believe Nance is connected to the murder of eight people at three locations near Chicago.

The first victim was discovered on 21 January at a home in Will County, authorities said, while seven other victims were found the next day, about six miles north-west of the scene police discovered first.

Romeo Nance is believed to have killed eight people in Chicago (via Reuters)
Romeo Nance is believed to have killed eight people in Chicago (via Reuters)

Will County Sheriff’s Office deputy chief of operations Dan Jungles said deputies discovered a person “with blood coming out of his head, and upon deputy’s arrival, they located a gunshot wound.”

The victim was then taken to hospital, where he died of his injuries, Jungles said.

Mr Jungles added that Nance’s car – a red Toyota Camry – was seen at the scene, which prompted the sheriff’s department to begin surveilling Nance’s last-known address, hoping to find the vehicle.

After finding no sign of Nance or his car, deputies knocked on the door of a home, but received no response. “When they received no response, they knew the house across the street was related to the individuals that resided at that house and they walked over there,” Mr Jungles said at a press conference.

That is when deputies saw blood on the door of the second home, Mr Jungles added.

Deputies then entered the home and found two dead bodies.

Five more victims were found in the first home, though it is unclear how long they had been dead, Mr Jungles said.

“I’ve been a policeman 25 years. This is probably the worst crime scene I’ve ever been associated with,” he continued.

Nance is also believed to be connected to another non-fatal shooting of a 42-year-old man on Sunday at a separate location, according to authorities.

Who are the victims?

The first victim was identified as 28-year-old Toyosi Bakare.

Bakare was from Nigeria and had been living in Will County for three years, according to Mr Jungles.

The identities of the seven other victims have not yet been released. However, Joliet Police chief Bill Evans said they were from the same family and were known to Nance.

Asked if the victims were members of the suspect’s family, Mr Jungles said he could not comment except to say that the suspect knew them.

Police do not believe that Mr Bakare was related to any of the other victims, but was connected to Nance.

The ninth man, who was shot in the leg, is also not believed to be connected to any of the other victims.

Suspect’s body found

Following a manhunt, Nance was found on 22 January by US Marshals near Natalia, Texas, with what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“It is believed that Nance took his own life with a handgun following a confrontation with Texas law enforcement officials,” Joliet Police said.

It remains unclear why Nance travelled to Natalia, which is more than 1,000 miles from Joliet by road. Driving between the two locations would take at least 18 hours.