Funeral held for 7 of the 8 victims in Joliet-area shootings

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — The funeral for seven of the eight victims killed in Joliet-area shootings last month was held Saturday.

The funeral for Christine and William Esters and Tameaka, Joshua, Alexandria, Alonnah and Angel Nance was held at Victory City Church in Joliet.

The seven were all related to shooter Romeo Nance, 23, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound the next day in Texas when confronted by police. An eighth victim was believed to have been shot randomly.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the remains of the family members were carried in white caskets adorned with purple, pink, white and green flowers. A line stretched out of the church in Joliet where the services were held.

“I thought I would have words for today, but I don’t,” said Cara Esters, the surviving member of the immediate family killed. “I don’t have words for our heartache, and I don’t think I ever will.”

Investigators said they believe Nance first shot seven people at two relatives’ homes in Joliet, then fired randomly at two men — one outside an apartment building and another on a residential street. One of the men survived.

Authorities previously identified a man killed outside the apartment building as Toyosi Bakare, a 28-year-old man originally from Nigeria who had been living in the U.S. for about three years.

Nance fatally shot himself after U.S. Marshals found him near Natalia, Texas, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of San Antonio and more than 1,000 miles (1,690 kilometers) from Joliet, authorities said. He had no known ties to Texas.