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Police stand outside a downtown high-rise office building following a shooting on July 31, 2014, in Chicago. / M. Spencer Green, AP

Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this story misidentified the country's second tallest skyscraper. It is the Willis Tower.

CHICAGO - A workplace shooting rattled the city's financial district Thursday when a newly demoted executive shot and critically wounded his company's founder, then killed himself, police said.

Officers responding to a call of shots fired on the 17th floor of the Bank of America building found two men lying unresponsive on the floor of an office, both with gunshot wounds to the head, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

The victim, identified as ArrowStream chairman and CEO Steven LaVoie, was also shot in the stomach. He was listed in critical condition at Northwestern Hospital.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the gunman as Anthony DeFrances, 60.

DeFrances had been chief technology officer for the company, which provides supply-chain management to the food-service industry. Police said he was despondent after being told Friday that he was being demoted as part of staff reductions.

Police were investigating the case as a possible attempted murder-suicide.

McCarthy said that the worker pulled a 9mm semiautomatic pistol on LaVoie and that the two men struggled before LaVoie was shot twice and the gunman fatally shot himself.

Sources told the Chicago Tribune that the two men "had been friends for years" in addition to co-workers at ArrowStream, which LaVoie founded in 2000. DeFrances joined the company soon after.

The company said that LaVoie is married with three daughters, and that DeFrances was married with three children.

Known as Tony, DeFrances was a "hard worker," said George Volland, who got to know DeFrances as they commuted from the nearby suburb of Barrington. "He was in on the early train and out on the late train. This was a good guy. I just want people to know he was not a monster."

The Bank of America building is two blocks from the Willis Tower, the country's second-tallest skyscraper, and is located a block from the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Samirah Ali, who works for a company that has offices on the fifth and 16th floors, said building tenants first knew something was wrong when the fire alarm was activated followed by a message to remain in place.

Later tenants were notified by e-mail that an unspecified incident had taken place and police were investigating. About an hour after the alarm was sounded, Ali said they were given "the all-clear."

"It was scary, but they kept us informed," she said. "I don't know what you can do to (keep) something like this from happening."

Contributing: Associated Press; Michael Winter, USA TODAY



Copyright 2014USA TODAY

Read the original story: Demoted exec shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

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