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Disgruntled executive shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago building

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[August 01, 2014]  By Mary Wisniewski
 CHICAGO (Reuters) - A senior executive upset about a job demotion gravely wounded the chief executive officer of his company in a downtown Chicago office building and then fatally shot himself, police said on Thursday.

Steven LaVoie, the 54-year-old CEO of the Chicago software company ArrowStream, is in critical condition with gunshot wounds to his stomach and head, police and hospital officials said.

The dead gunman was identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office as Anthony DeFrances, 60, of Barrington. He was the company's chief technology officer and had been with ArrowStream virtually since its founding in 2000, according to the company website.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy described the shooting at the LaSalle Street office as an isolated workplace incident.

"He's a longtime employee who comes in with a backpack like an employee normally does," he said of the gunman. "It's basically a personal thing. The company is downsizing and a number of people were demoted ...

"He asked for a one-on-one with the CEO and that's when this happened," McCarthy said.

LaVoie is also the founder and chairman of ArrowStream and is married with three daughters, according to the company's website. DeFrances also was married with three children, the website said.

"We are deeply saddened and shocked by the events that have occurred today," ArrowStream said in a statement. "Our focus during this tragedy is to ensure the well-being of our ArrowStream family."

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Police were interviewing 10 witnesses who were on the 17th floor of the Bank of America building where the shooting happened before 10 a.m., he said.

Neil Machchhar, an information technology specialist who works on the 14th floor of the building, told Reuters an announcement came over the building's public address system telling employees to "stay in place" because there was an armed intruder in the building.

"The person on the P.A. sounded a little shaky," he said.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Bill Trott, Eric Beech and Ken Wills)

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