Newly released records show violent history of Joliet mass shooting suspect Romeo Nance

Police body cam footage shows Romeo Nance in handcuffs during a January 2023 arrest at one of the homes in Joliet where he shot and killed some of his family members a year later.

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Newly released video and police records show the violent history of the man accused of killing eight people in Joliet last month, including footage of him from a year ago fighting with officers until he subdued by being cuffed around the wrists and ankles.

As officers struggled with Romeo Nance, a woman who apparently was his mother screamed at officers to stop. She would be one of Nance’s victims in last month’s mass shooting, according to police.

The 23-year-old Nance killed six other family members — three sisters, a brother, an aunt and an uncle — in two houses on Acres Road before killing a random victim nearby on Jan. 21, police say. He took his own life the next day in Texas as he was fleeing from authorities.

The police records were released this week under a public records request, days before the funerals for the relatives, all of them scheduled for Saturday.

Top row: Tameaka Nance (47), William Esters (35), Christine Esters (38); bottom row: Joshua Nance (31), Alexandria Nance (20), Alonnah Nance (16), and Angel Nance (14)

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They show Nance was charged with robbing two people at knifepoint in October 2019, and with shooting at a woman during an apparent road rage attack in January of last year.

They also show authorities were called to the two homes on Acres Road at least 14 times since April 2022.

In the armed robbery, Nance was accused of pressing a knife against the chest of one of the people outside a tobacco store. One victim told police they knew Nance and he was arrested with the knife, according to the records.

Court records show he pleaded guilty to a felony cannabis charge in the case, while the other counts of robbery and theft were dropped. He was granted time served for a 29-day jail sentence and also received two years of probation. 

In the road rage shooting, a woman told police she was stopped at a red light on U.S. 30 at Larkin Avenue when Nance began honking from the car behind her, according to the records.

He then pulled alongside her and started yelling before throwing a water bottle at her car, the records state. The woman called 911 and followed him to a Walgreens parking lot. As the woman followed him, Nance fired shots until he lost her.

Fourteen shell casings were recovered from several crime scenes connected to the incident, and a bullet hole was found in the driver’s door of the woman’s car. Another bullet smashed through a nearby home, striking the countertop and lodging in the kitchen wall, according to the records, which said a resident in the home “never looked outside because she was scared.”

Police used cellphone records and cameras to track down Nance. Police bodycam video shows officers approached him as he sat in a black Ford sedan in the driveway of one of the homes on Acres Road.

Nance is seen calmly stepping out of the car and is handcuffed by officers as a woman shouts at officers. Nance then runs toward the street as the officers begin searching his car.

Police tackle Nance in the snow as another woman, apparently his mother, steps out of the house and tries to order the police off her property, demanding to see a warrant.

“Don’t search anything on my property unless you have a warrant,” the woman is heard telling officers.

Nance, pinned to the ground by police, pleads with officers to put him in a squad car. “My legs are tired,” he says. “Get me off the floor, please.”

Minutes later, police pull a backpack from the back seat of Nance’s car, the video shows. Inside was a loaded semi-automatic pistol and two cartons of ammunition. 

As he was being taken to the police station, Nance talks nearly non-stop during the 15-minute trip, according to the video. He takes a keen interest in the police computer that pinged the license plates of passing cars and provided the criminal history of the registered owners.

When the computer flashes an alert about the arrest record of the owner of a passing car, Nance appears stunned. “No wonder y’all know how to get up on a motherf—– real quick,” he says.

During his interview with police, Nance repeatedly refused to answer questions. The interview was ended when he “became increasingly agitated,” according to a police report.

He was charged with felony counts of aggravated discharge of a weapon, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, reckless discharge and aggravated assault. The case was still pending, court records show.

His bail was set at $100,000 and he was released a few weeks later after his girlfriend posted the required 10%. She is now charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to police as they tried to find him after the mass shooting.

Seven family members were killed: Nance’s mother, Tameaka Nance, 47; his sisters Alexandria Nance, 20, Alonnah Nance, 16, and Angel Nance, 14; his brother Joshua Nance, 31; his aunt Christine Esters, 38; and his uncle William Esters II, 35.

An eighth victim, Toyosi Bakare, 28, was found shot in the head at Pheasant Run Apartments in unincorporated Joliet. A ninth man was wounded.

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