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Jon W. Hansen: Cops Arrest Accomplice Who Dumped a Gun in the River, Used in Murders of 8 People in Illinois

Police in Joliet, Illinois, have arrested a man connected with the shooting deaths of eight people at four crime scenes in January — a shocking crime spree that ended when the gunman, Romeo Nance, killed himself 1,200 miles away in Texas as US Marshals closed in on him.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office said it has charged Jon W. Hansen, 24, with three counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm related to the January 21 murders. Hansen told investigators he was with Nance for two of the murders and had disposed of one of the guns he used in the DuPage River.

In a release announcing Hansen’s arrest, the sheriff’s office provided the most detailed information yet released about the incidents.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, police launched a manhunt for Nance after finding several people dead — most of them relatives of Nance’s, but all connected to him in some way. According to the sheriff’s office, a 911 call alerted them to a victim who had apparently been shot in the head at about 4:30 p.m. on the afternoon of January 21.

The victim, 28-year-old Toyosi Bakari, was taken to a hospital, where he died. While deputies were securing that scene, they learned of another shooting in the city of Joliet. That victim survived and described the suspect’s red Toyota vehicle. They also recovered security video from the scene of the first shooting that showed the red Toyota.

A few hours later, they had a license number and learned the vehicle was used — but not owned — by Romeo Nance, a man with “an extensive criminal history.” Detectives began tracking the vehicle with license plate reader cameras and the next day went to talk with the registered owner of the car, who lived in the city of Joliet.

They got no answer at that address and went across the street to another home that had connections with Nance and his family.

“Upon detectives approaching, they noticed blood on the outside of the door and bullet holes on the exterior of the house,” the sheriff’s office said.

When no one answered the door, they made forced entry and found two people dead inside. The deputies contacted the Joliet Police Department, and officers and deputies returned to the house across the street, where they found the bodies of five more people.

Later that day, Nance and the red Toyota were located in Interstate 35 near Natalia, Texas. Nance pulled into a gas station and took off on foot when he saw law enforcement approaching, then shot himself during the pursuit. Investigators said the gun he used on himself was the same gun he used to kill Bakare, a 9mm Glock ghost gun.

Detectives continued to investigate in hopes of determining a motive for the nine shootings. In the course of their probe, they learned that Hansen had been with Nance during the first two shootings — those of Bakare and Mario Guerrero, the man who was wounded. Hansen admitted being with Nance at that time and told the detectives Nance gave him the gun he used to shoot Guerrero and that he threw it in the river.

While Hansen refused to provide details about where he disposed of the gun, detectives found it anyway. A fire department diver dragged a magnet along the bottom of the riverbed, ultimately pulling out a loaded Springfield Armory XDS pistol on February 5.

Hansen was arrested on May 31, and the sheriff’s office did not say why it waited nearly four months to take him into custody. He invoked his right not to speak after his arrest and is in jail awaiting arraignment.

The sheriff’s office also did not say if they determined a motive for the murders.