What was supposed to be an exciting time turned into a scary night for the more than 200 people who attended a Halloween party in Joliet Township early Sunday morning.
Two people were fatally shot, and more than a dozen others were injured when shots erupted around 1 p.m. 12:30 in the backyard of a residence near the intersection of Jackson Street and Walnut Street, according to the Will County Sheriff’s Office.
Two men opened fire on the crowd from an elevated porch, authorities said, triggering chaos and causing partygoers to run in cover.
“Everyone was having fun, we were back and dancing, and suddenly a group of people just started firing shots, and everyone fell to the floor,” said Adolfo Sandoval, who was attending the party.
The area was cordoned off by crime scene on Sunday afternoon when Sandoval returned to search for belongings he lost while running away from shots.
“When they started firing, I felt the ricochet of the bullets, and when I started noticing them, I pushed my girlfriend to the side and I fell with her,” he recounted. “As I’m getting up again, people just started trampling on me and running over me.”
A sergeant from the Will County Sheriff’s Office was nearby at the time and heard between about 10 to 12 shots. The sergeant responded to the area where the shot had been located, observing more than 100 people fleeing the scene, running eastward on Jackson Street, according to the sheriff’s office.
Officers who responded to the scene found several victims and began performing life-saving measures and began treating wounds. While these officers were on the scene, additional shots were fired, according to authorities.
Of the injured, four received life-threatening gunshot wounds, police say.
A few hours after the frightening situation, Sandoval counted his blessings, knowing that the result was much worse for so many others.
“I just feel sorry for the innocent, innocent people there. It didn’t have to be that way, you know what I mean?” he said.
Detectives with the Will County Sheriff’s Office are coordinating with the Will / Grundy Major Crimes Task Force to investigate the shooting.
Officials say they are looking for at least two shooters. One of the men is described as a Latin American man with facial hair. The man was wearing a red hoodie, a black flat-beaked hat and dark trousers. The other shooter was described as an “average size, light-skinned black man or Hispanic man” and was wearing a yellow hoodie and a ski mask.
Anyone with information, cell phone pictures or videos or potential information about the suspects should call the Will County Sheriff’s Office. Will County officials have also created an anonymous tip line on their website. Individuals who wish to remain anonymous can also call the Will County Crime Stoppers at 800-323-6734.