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Loop Workplace Shooting Victim Still Critical, But ‘Stable’

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Loop executive remained in critical condition Friday, after an apparently disgruntled colleague shot him in the head Thursday over a recent demotion.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports ArrowStream CEO Steve Lavoie was still in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but showing signs of improvement. His condition had stabilized after surgery for gunshot wounds to his head and stomach.

LaVoie, 54, lives in LaGrange with his wife, Jody, and their three daughters. He founded ArrowStream, a technology and logistics firm, in 2000.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the company recently underwent a downsizing, and several people were demoted. Sources said ArrowStream Chief Technology Officer Tony DeFrances – who had been with the company virtually since it was founded – was among those demoted.

Police said DeFrances asked for a one-on-one meeting with LaVoie on Thursday, and brought a gun with him to the meeting at ArrowStream’s offices on the 17th floor of the Bank of America Building, at 231 S. LaSalle St.

Anthony DeFrances (LinkedIn)

Anthony DeFrances (LinkedIn)

Shortly before 10 a.m., DeFrances pulled out the gun and shot LaVoie in the head and stomach, after the two struggled for the weapon. DeFrances then killed himself.

Paramedics worked feverishly to treat LaVoie’s wounds as they rushed him to Northwestern.

DeFrances did not have a Firearm Owner Identification card or a concealed carry permit, and McCarthy said he wants to find out how DeFrances got the gun. Federal authorities on Friday continued their efforts to trace the weapon.

“At the end of the day, that’s going to be another illegal firearm that shouldn’t have been in that guy’s hands; and until we start to come to grips with that in the state of Illinois, we’re going to have more gun violence,” McCarthy said.

The superintendent said investigators should be able to determine where and when the gun was first sold, but if that owner sold or transferred it to someone else, it could take a lot of work to find out how DeFrances got it, as detectives would have to interview each person who might have bought it at one point or another.

“It’s a problem for us, it’s really manpower intensive, and it’s just not a good system,” he said.

Friday morning, a person close to LaVoie’s family updated a Caring Bridge page where his loved ones can leave messages of support.

“Thank you to every loving person who has reached out through this website and in all other ways with your love and support. The family feels it and it is uplifting and appreciated. Steve is stable after a calm night. Please keep praying for him. Today, Steve’s family will arrive, so please no calls, texts or visitors. Jody needs to focus on Steve and his family at this time,” Sue Michalowski wrote.

More than 2,000 people have visited LaVoie’s Caring Bridge page, and many have left messages of support for him and his family.

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