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Local News

‘Chaotic scene’

Police: Gunman held woman hostage, turned weapon on officers

A 44-year-old man shot and killed a woman before Joliet police officers opened fire at him during a hostage situation at a residence that was on fire in Joliet, authorities said.

Nakia Smith, the alleged gunman, and Kimiki Truss, 43, both died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Will County Coroner’s Office. The official cause and manner of death for both Smith and Truss remains undetermined.

About 4 a.m. Monday, Joliet police officers were sent to the 1200 block of Justice Lake Drive after receiving a report of a domestic battery in progress, according to the Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force, which is the agency investigating the deaths.

Court records indicate that Smith and Truss both lived at the residence.

When the officers arrived, they saw the home was on fire and forced entry, according to the task force. Once inside, the officers saw Smith armed with a gun and holding Truss hostage, said Will County Sheriff’s Lt. Dan Troike, a task force commander.

Smith fired his gun at the officers before running with Truss to the backyard of the residence, Troike said.

Troike said task force investigators believe that was when Smith shot Truss and the officers shot Smith.

Smith died from a gunshot wound at the Justice Lake Drive residence, while Truss was taken to the emergency room at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, according to the coroner’s office and Troike.

Truss was pronounced dead at
5:03 a.m. Monday, the coroner’s office said.

It’s not certain if the officers killed Smith or if he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Troike said, noting that forensic analysis of the incident has not been completed.

Troike said Smith and Truss were previously in a long-term relationship but were no longer together.

Three officers were injured in the hostage situation. Their injuries are not life-threatening, according to the task force.

Troike said he didn’t have other details on the circumstances of the hostage situation because the Joliet officers at the scene have not been interviewed yet.

He said the officers would not be interviewed for 72 hours after the incident, which is protocol for the task force investigation.

The officers provided an initial public safety statement, which provides the bare minimum of information on what happened during the incident, Troike said.

A police source called the shooting incident a “chaotic scene.”

Troike said the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Joliet Fire Department are investigating the fire.

Joliet fire officials were unavailable Tuesday to answer questions about the house fire.

A representative of the department referred questions about the fire to Joliet police Sgt. Christopher Botzum, who would only say the task force is releasing information about the incident.

The residence showed damage from the fire. The front door and some of the windows were boarded up, and sections of the roof were damaged.

Augusta Gilmore, who lives next door, said gunshots woke her up Monday morning. She said she heard three gunshots and looked outside her window to see police cars, an ambulance and fire trucks.

She said the man and woman who lived next door “stayed to themselves.” She said she didn’t know them.

Gilmore said the incident was surprising because her neighborhood normally is quiet.

“It’s sad,” she said. “It’s too close to home.”

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