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Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

CEO, Father Of 3, Shot By Disgruntled Employee In Chicago Office Building

By DON BABWIN

CHICAGO (AP) - A demoted executive shot and critically wounded his company's CEO before fatally shooting himself Thursday inside a high-rise office building in downtown Chicago's bustling financial district, police said.

The worker pulled a gun after entering the 17th-floor office to privately meet with the CEO, and during a struggle for the weapon, the CEO was shot in his head and abdomen, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said. The gunman then fatally shot himself.

"Apparently he was despondent over the fact that he got demoted," McCarthy said, adding that the alleged shooter was among "a number of people" being demoted as the company downsized.

The alleged gunman was later identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office as 60-year-old Anthony DeFrances.

A man by the same name is listed as an executive on the website for ArrowStream, a supply-chain management technology company whose address is on the 17th floor of Bank of America building, where the shootings occurred. The company's CEO is Steven LaVoie, according to the site.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago confirmed that a man named Steven Lavoie was in critical condition in the hospital, but declined to elaborate. Police said the victim of the shooting was taken to Northwestern, but messages left with police and ArrowStream were not returned Thursday.

According to ArrowStream's website, LaVoie founded the company in 2000, and DeFrances joined the next year and was currently its chief technology officer. Both men are listed as married with three children.

Police were called just before 10 a.m. to the building, which is a few blocks from the Willis Tower, the country's second-tallest skyscraper, and a block from the Chicago Board of Trade.

Officers cordoned off the immediate area outside, and SWAT team members and other officers rushed inside. They found two men on the floor, both of them shot, according to police.

Workers elsewhere in the building said they received warnings from building security over the intercom and in emails around 10 a.m. telling them there was a security situation in the lobby and to stay at their desks.

"It was a tense atmosphere, everybody was walking around, you wanted more details but they wouldn't give us much," said Stefano Freddo, who works on the building's 10th floor.

He said someone came over the intercom a few minutes later to tell them it was safe to leave their offices.

Freddo, 32, said security officers are stationed in the building, and that workers need a badge showing they work there to gain access to the elevators in the lobby. But he said there are no metal detectors in the building.

"Maybe we should have those," he said.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
Charlie July 31 2014 at 9:24 PM

If this happened more often we would have fewer over paid CEO's.

Flag Reply +27 rate up
sbeldner914 July 31 2014 at 8:44 PM

It's very sad that the man killed himself and shot the boss. That said, companies have to be in touch with the davastation they bring to families of downsized employees and the employee themselves. At 59, this gentleman was probably going to be out of work for years, or loose his home because of his demoted status? A boss can impact a person's career by a simple flick of a pen. Many years ago, I was with a very successful division of GE. Every year like clockwork, they would lay off 20% of the staff one week prior to Thanksgiving. They just didn't care. If you think we didn't hear employees crying, devastated, or wanting to hurt someone, you think wrong. It does not surprise me that people are pushed over the edge when downsizing occurs.

Flag Reply +26 rate up
12 replies
fernandezarthr July 31 2014 at 8:06 PM

...Chicago is on a downward glide path , under the DemocRAT leadership!!!......Model of the Future cities across America.....get ready everybody.....Make the right choice and vote for change!!!.....

Flag Reply +22 rate up
13 replies
juliabowen1 July 31 2014 at 11:13 PM

I am surprised this doesn't happen more often. These companies just don't care about their employee's, it's bottom line only. People are getting pushed over the edge and we better wake up soon or this will become as common place as other homicides! (sad isn't it????)

Flag Reply +21 rate up
2 replies
fcollinshughes juliabowen1 August 01 2014 at 1:37 AM

The company is failing it HAS to demote people to survive. You know what we CEO's should do. Fing fire the lot of you go chapter 7 and forget about you . Start over some where else. The man was lucky he was only demoted. Listening to you rubber heads is pushing me over the edge

Flag Reply +2 rate up
6 replies
bb0515 juliabowen1 August 01 2014 at 9:52 AM

This is the way to fight corporate greed and the huge wage gap; not do a "sit in" like those idiots in NY a couple of years ago.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
azby1066 July 31 2014 at 11:16 PM

I don't know the particulars in this case but the part that is hard to take is seeing how much most CEOs have prospered while they cut the livliehoods of their workers.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
1 reply
fcollinshughes azby1066 August 01 2014 at 1:39 AM

THEY TAKE ALL THE RISKS, MONETARILY AND WITH THEIR OWN LIVELY HOOD. YOU the knowbody who comes for a JOB without risk of jail or backlash sit on your ass and bark about the people who START a business ?? I think you should invent a 100million dollar idea and then walk with only 500K while your employees eat the rest. Complete tool you lefty DOLTS are

Flag Reply +3 rate up
9 replies
thanadar July 31 2014 at 8:41 PM

Only a fool demotes or fires a 60-year old man in this economy. The jerk was lucky he wasn't killed.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
5 replies
Robert C Miller July 31 2014 at 9:08 PM

Great job containing violence in shitcago Rahm Emanuel

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
crux101 Robert C Miller July 31 2014 at 11:10 PM

And what exactly would you do as mayor of Chicage, Bob? Got a plan there?? Let's here it!! I am interested!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Hennessy Robert C Miller August 01 2014 at 12:45 AM

Oh Bob you probably couldn't snake your own toilet successfully.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Dude July 31 2014 at 8:48 PM

Great police response. But let a few black folks on the south side of Chicago slaughter each other and it's just business as usual. You don't see them cordoning off entire blocks and all that in the hood, even if there are bodies galore and the shooters are still on the loose. I love America.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
mark and sheri Dude August 01 2014 at 2:07 AM

Nah. Love Chicago. The home of the POTUS is one of the most racially divided cities in the U.S.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
sketch008 July 31 2014 at 11:13 PM

The CEO's a millionaire...who cares!!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
Steve sketch008 August 01 2014 at 4:08 AM

Maybe the man gives millions to charity to help the needy in this world like you.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Lindsay August 01 2014 at 1:03 AM

Another sign of great wealth disparity which always creates civil unrest. More murder, more crime, more illness, more despondency, more negative results of every aspect of society.
Ours is the worst of all developed nations and at the same level it was in 1929 which caused the great depression.
Most of all income in the country now goes to the top few percent and most to the top 1% and even more to the top tenth of one percent.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
Steve Lindsay August 01 2014 at 4:03 AM

Lindsay...pay attention to facts. You will appear to be intelligent even though you are not.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
troopabn Lindsay August 01 2014 at 7:41 AM

I agree. And this is what has out this country in the shape it's in today. Look at the cash flow like an upside-down triangle. So how are the masses supposed to stimulate the economy when they don't get anything to stimulate it with. One day this country will no-doubt have it's own version of the 1789 French Revolution. And gated communities won't protect these folks when it goes down.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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