CHICAGO, Illinois – During an early morning meeting on the 17th floor at the Bank of America building in downtown Chicago on Thursday, a recently demoted employee identified as the company’s CTO, Anthony DeFrances, allegedly shot Steven LaVoie, 54, the CEO for ArrowStream, in the head and stomach before turning the gun on himself.
While LaVoie, survived the shooting, DeFrances, the shooter, a married father of three daughters, died from the self-inflicted gun shot to the head. After being rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police say the CEO is in “grave” condition. Police have notified LaVoie’s wife Jody about the incident.
CBS Chicago reported that Chicago Police Superintendet Garry McCarthy said the alleged shooter was told last Friday along with ten other employees that he was being demoted due to ArrowStream having to downsize causing DeFrances to become despondent.
McCarthy said the shooter demanded a one-on-one meeting with LaVoie on Thursday morning when he allegedly pulled out a gun that caused LaVoie to get into a struggle for the gun. That’s when according to McCarthy, LaVoie was shot in the head and stomach. Just after that incident, McCarthy said DeFrances fatally shot himself in the head.
While a SWAT team was dispatched to the building, workers were not evacuated however were told by email at around 10 a.m. to stay at their desks.
According to McCarthy, he said there was “plenty of security in the building. He’s (the gunman) apparently a longtime employee. He comes in with a backpack like an employee normally does … This is a personal thing.”
Police say DeFrances had worked at ArrowStream from 2000 when it was founded by LaVoie. More information is still being evaluated by ten witnesses on the 17th floor which will be used during what police say will be an intensive investigation.
LaVoie was an accomplished and respected man according to his profile on the Junior State of America website which said he had completed a Masters degree in private and public management at the Yale School of Management. He also received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of California, Berkeley. Other accolades include his becoming an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2010 and that same year was honored as a CEO if the year finalist by the Illinois Technology Association (ITA). LaVoie also served on the Board of the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis.
A prayer vigil for LaVoie was scheduled from 1 to 8pm after the shooting at First Presbyterian Church of La Grange. Senior pastor Rev. Ken Green told the Sun Times LaVoie has been a church member there for several years.
“It’s a tragedy. We are praying for Steven and his family,” Rev. Green said.
ArrowStream is reportedly a logistics company who provides support for fast food restaurants. The company had just been named as one of Chicago’s “best and brightest”companies to work for.