Two Killed, Over Dozen More Injured in Ill. Party Shooting

Nov. 1, 2021
At least four people suffered life-threatening injuries after a fatal shooting at a backyard party of more than 200 people in Joliet Township, near Chicago.

By Alicia Fabbre

Source Chicago Tribune

A Halloween party in Joliet Township near Chicago turned deadly as gunmen opened fire on partygoers shortly after midnight on Sunday morning, killing two and injuring more than a dozen people.

The party, which drew more than 200 people, was initially intended for a group of about 50 family members and friends, relatives of the hosts said. But social media posts promoting the party drew hundreds from surrounding communities, according to a news release from the Will County sheriff’s office.

A Will County sheriff’s sergeant on patrol in the area heard 10 to 12 gunshots around 12:39 a.m. Sunday. Fleeing witnesses told the sergeant the shooting occurred in the backyard of a home in the 1000 block of East Jackson Street, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

“As soon as they started shooting, people just started running,” Will County sheriff’s Deputy Chief Dan Jungles said, noting deputies recovered several personal items such as car keys, cellphones and purses that were left behind as people fled the shooting.

Jungles said two people were killed in the shooting and more than a dozen were sent to area hospitals, including four people with life-threatening injuries. Authorities were not yet releasing the names of the shooting victims.

According to the news release, witnesses indicated there were two shooters at the party. The shooters fired on the crowd from a balcony at the home.

One partygoer said he noticed people on the balcony flashing gang signs to a group located in the backyard near the DJ booth. Junior Sandoval, a 25-year-old resident of Crest Hill who was at the party, said that when the group near the DJ booth began approaching the balcony, shots were fired.

Sandoval was back in the neighborhood where the party took place Sunday afternoon to retrieve his car and the car keys he’d left behind.

Sandoval and other partygoers described a chaotic scene as people tried to flee the shooting.

“I threw my girlfriend to the floor and fell onto her,” he said. “When the gunfire stopped we took a run for it. We were getting trampled and everything.”

Relatives of the hosts said the party was initially intended for a smaller group but quickly grew as people posted about it on social media.

“It got really packed with random people we did not know,” said Valerie Alvarez, who is related to one of the hosts and friends with the other two women who hosted the party. “Even the host of the party was like, ‘I don’t even know these people, where did they come from?’”

Alvarez was at the party with her sisters and brother. She and her siblings said the hosts are not involved with gangs.

Alvarez said the party hosts tried to get people to leave by turning off the music and telling partygoers that police were on their way and that anyone underage needed to leave.

Jungles said call logs did not indicate that the hosts contacted police.

However, Alvarez’s aunt, Elizabeth Arias, who lives a couple of blocks from the home, said she called police more than an hour before the shooting. She was not at the party but could hear the music and saw the number of cars lining the street and neighboring streets.

She and another neighbor called police around 11 p.m. Jungles confirmed police received a call regarding a loud noise complaint from Arias. Police responded and “peace was restored” according to the call log, Jungles said.

“They drove by, they saw everything,” Arias said. “Now we have two people dead.”

She was critical of police, saying the shooting could have been avoided if police had broken up the party when complaints were called in.

“It was bad,” she said, adding that several people ended up at her house after the shooting. “You just saw kids running everywhere.”

Jungles said police are trying to locate people who were at the party. Of the more than 200 who were at the house, police have spoken to fewer than one-quarter of them. Police are looking for witnesses or anyone who may have video or photographs from the party. Those who left personal items behind also may contact police.

Anyone with information can contact Will County sheriff’s Detective Danielle Strohm at 815-727-8574, ext. 4930. Anonymous tips also may be submitted on the Will County sheriff’s website at or through Will County Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-323-6734 or


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