Friend Of Loop Workplace Shooter: ‘He Must Have Snapped’
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(CBS) – The far northwest suburban executive identified as the workplace shooter Thursday in downtown Chicago did not have a firearm owners identification card, CBS 2 has learned.
An urgent trace is being done to find out how that gun came into the hands of Tony DeFrances, 59, the Tower Lakes resident and employee of ArrowStream who shot firm CEO Steven LaVoie, seriously wounding him, before killing himself.
DeFrances has been with ArrowStream since the company was founded in 2000 and led all aspects of the company’s technology.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says the shooter had been demoted recently as part of a downsizing. He was able to conceal a gun and bring it into the Bank of America Building, 231 S. LaSalle St., because he had an employee pass to clear a security station, McCarthy says.
George Volland, who knew DeFrances, expressed shock about what happened.
“Tony was a great guy,” he tells CBS 2. “I knew he was very dedicated in his job. He’d always have his PC with his backpack, and he’d always be working on the train. It was just a complete shock to me. I’m shaken, frankly.”
“I really liked the guy, and to hear this is just a total shock. He must have snapped,” Volland added.
Neighbors say DeFrances, who lived in a waterfront home in Tower Lakes, was a nice man who was involved in the community, CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.
“Everybody kind of knows everybody to some extent or another,” neighbor Jim Olson says. “I just can’t believe it was Tony who was involved in this.”
“Mr. DeFrances has been in the community for a long time. We are all shocked, sad and sorry for the family,” Village President Kathleen Leitner said in a written statement.