(AP) — A man shot and killed eight people at three locations since Sunday in the Chicago suburbs and remains loose, authorities said Monday.
Police in Will County and the city of Joliet said they did not know of a motive for the killings, but said the man knew the victims.
The FBI’s fugitive task force was assisting local police in the search for the suspect, Joliet Police Chief William Evans said.
The victims were found Sunday and Monday at three separate locations, authorities told reporters Monday evening, several hours after warning on social media that the man should be considered “armed and dangerous.”
One of the people killed was found Sunday in a home in Will County. Seven others were found Monday at two homes in Joliet.
Authorities said they also believe another shooting in Joliet that wounded a man on Sunday is connected to the string of violence but would not discuss their evidence.
“I’ve been a policeman 29 years and this is probably the worst crime scene I’ve ever been associated with,” Evans said during a news conference outside the Joliet homes Monday evening.
Will County Chief Deputy Dan Jungles said during the news conference that deputies had been staking out one of the houses since Sunday evening in case the suspect in that day’s shootings returned to them.
When no one showed, deputies finally went to the door of one of the houses. No one answered so they tried the other house, which they knew was linked to the first house and found the first bodies. Jungles didn’t offer any further details.
Jungles said he didn’t have any indications yet of how long the people in the houses had been dead. He said that autopsies are pending.
Evans said the victims found Monday in the houses were family members. Asked if the victims were members of the suspect’s family, Jungles said he couldn’t comment except to say that the suspect knew them.
Teresa Smart lives about a block away from where seven of the victims were found and said she worries she and her family won’t be able to sleep tonight.
“This is way too close to home,” she said, adding that police cars are blocking streets throughout the neighbourhood.
“I keep looking out the window and double checking my doors,” she said. “It’s super scary.”
Joliet Police said in a Facebook post earlier on Monday afternoon that they were investigating “multiple” people found dead and shared the man’s photo and images of a vehicle. Authorities identified the vehicle as a red Toyota Camry.
Earlier Monday, the Will County Sheriff’s Office shared images of the same car via Facebook and said it had been seen at the scenes of two separate shootings Sunday afternoon.