A demoted worker shot and critically injured his company’s CEO before turning the gun on himself Thursday inside a downtown Chicago high-rise in the city’s bustling financial district, police said.
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the shooter came into work at a technological company on the 17th floor, and drew a gun during a meeting with his company’s CEO.
The two men struggled for the gun, and the CEO was shot twice and remains in “grave condition,” according to McCarthy. The shooter then took his own life.
“Apparently he was despondent over the fact that he got demoted,” McCarthy said during a news conference. “They’ve been undergoing a downsizing. They’ve demoted a number of people.”
Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago police spokesman, told the Los Angeles Times that the 54-year-old victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condtion.
The shooting took place inside the offices of ArrowStream, a technology company, according to the Chicago Tribune.
ArrowSteam’s CEO is Steven LaVoie, a married father of three who founded the company in 2000, according to the company’s website. He previously worked in finance and food services management, and holds a master’s degree from Yale and a bachelor’s from UC Berkeley.
A police spokesman declined to identify the shooter or victim.
Jay McKeon, a 24-year-old who works nearby, said he saw an older man wheeled out on a stretcher shortly after the shooting. He told the Tribune he saw a paramedic cock his hand like a gun and point it at his head.
Officers were called to the scene about 9:50 a.m. and found two men on the floor in an office, Estrada said. The office is in the Bank of America building, two blocks from the Willis Tower, the country’s second tallest skyscraper, and a block from the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Workers said they received emails from building security about 10 a.m. telling them there was a security situation in the lobby and to stay at their desks. A few minutes later, someone came over the intercom to tell them everything was clear.
“We didn’t know what to think,” said Jay Patel, who works on the 11th floor.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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