Slaying of 2 children, 2 adults in Romeoville ‘not a random incident,’ police say

Romeoville police found four people, including two children, shot to death Sunday evening while performing a wellness check. Late Tuesday, Deputy Police Chief Christopher Burne announced that police have determined the killings were “not a random incident.”

Officers conducted a well-being check in the 500 block of Concord Avenue in the southwest suburb at about 8:43 p.m. Sunday after a family member hadn’t show up for work in the morning and didn’t respond to phone calls, according to the Romeoville Police Department. When they arrived, police said, they found four people — two adults and two children — dead with gunshot wounds.

In a Tuesday video update, Romeoville Mayor John Noak said that he had asked village social services staff to be available to support residents in the wake of the family’s deaths.

“Our entire community is grieving with the family over this tragic incident,” he said. “It is always heartbreaking whenever there is a loss of life but when children are involved, it’s much more painful.”

Burne said police had concluded that the killings were not a random incident, but provided no other details. “There is no cause for a shelter in place order,” he said.

The Will County Major Crimes Task Force is assisting Romeoville police with investigating the deaths, according to Burne.

Burne said at a Monday news conference that police think the shooting happened inside the home, but declined to answer questions about whether there were signs of a break in.Police aren’t investigating the case as a murder-suicide and do not believe the offender was one of the victims.

Burne identified the two adult victims as Alberto Rolon and Zoraida Bartolomei. He did not release the names of the children but said they were related to the two adults. He said three dogs were also shot and killed inside the home.

Burne said the investigation is in “its early stages,” but that police believe the shooting happened between 9 p.m. Saturday and 5 a.m. Sunday.

Burne added that police don’t believe there’s a threat to the community and were not asking residents to shelter in place.

“We do always ask our residents to have a good sense of self-awareness and to report anything that they might see as suspicious,” he said.

Lynn Phillips, who lives next door to the home where the shooting occurred, was left shaken on Monday morning. The 62-year-old described the neighborhood as quiet and filled with school-aged children and retirees. She said she never would have expected it to be the site of a homicide.

She said the dead adults appeared middle-aged and that they maintained their yard and usually kept to themselves. She said she did not know much about the children, but said they played basketball with the basketball hoop in the backyard.

Phillips and other neighbors said the family had recently moved to the home.

”They’re fairly new. There was another family before them, and then this family moved in,” she said. “You wave to them in the morning, you wave goodbye at night.”

Phillip said she didn’t hear any shots while she was home Saturday night. She said she left her home at 9:30 a.m. Sunday to go to work and got back at about 5:30 p.m. and still didn’t know anything was wrong until police showed up at 8:45 p.m.

”I’m devastated, I mean I’ve been crying on and off all day, I didn’t sleep,” she said. “Just to know that somebody has hurt one of my neighbors, and this is beyond too close to home.”

Police asked anyone with information to contact the Romeoville Police Department at 815-886-7219.

rjohnson@chicagotribune.com