At approximately 9:55 a.m. Eastern, a disgruntled employee shot and critically wounded his boss on the 17th floor of the Bank America Trades Building in Chicago. The 54-year-old CEO of ArrowStream, identified by some reports as Steven LaVoie, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he is being treated for gunshot wounds to the head and stomach and remains in grave condition. The shooter, a 59-year-old executive with the company, was pronounced dead on the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Police are describing the event as “work-place violence.” Witnesses to the scene described it as “chaotic” and initially there was a high level of fear as police vehicles, fire personnel and SWAT arrived on the scene.
The attempted murder-suicide was apparently motivated by the fact that the shooter had recently been demoted within the company due to downsizing. His psychological state has been described as “despondent” by Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. McCarthy further states that the shooter, who entered the building as he would on a normal work day demanded a personal meeting with LaVoie. Apparently, during the meeting he pulled out a gun. Early reports indicate that there was a struggle over the firearm, which resulted in LaVoie’s injuries after which the shooter took his own life.
Early reports had indicated that two people were killed and that the shooter was armed and in the building which is near the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. However, when police arrived on the scene, both the shooter and LaVoie were “lying unresponsive on the floor.” Although a SWAT team was on site, the building was not evacuated although as a precaution employees were alerted to the situation via loudspeakers and instructed to remain in their areas, away from any glass doors. The all clear was given approximately 45 minutes after the initial shots rang out.
ArrowStream, described as “a leading provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) supply chain management technology” was recently named as one of Chicago’s “Best and Brightest” in terms of companies to work for by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR). According to a press release, the criteria for the award recipients included “employee enrichment, compensation and benefits, employee education and development, recruitment, employee achievement and recognition, work-life balance, and community initiatives.” Further, according to the President of NABR, Jennifer Kluge, companies honored with the award “have clearly demonstrated why each of them would be an ideal place for employees to work.” Further they are “companies that capitalize on their greatest resource—their employees—know how to attract and retain top talent.” This is the third consecutive year that ArrowStream has received the “Best and Brightest” award.
ArrowStream CEO Steven LaVoie who is married and has three children remains in grave condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He has Master’s degree from Yale University and serves on the Board of the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis. The identity of the shooter has not yet been released pending notification of family members.
By Alana Marie Burke