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CEO shot by colleague shows improvement: website

Steven Jody LaVoie 2002. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

Steven and Jody LaVoie in 2002. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 5, 2014 6:24AM



The CEO who was shot in his Loop office by a recently demoted executive remained in critical condition Sunday, a Northwestern Memorial Hospital spokeswoman said.

But ArrowStream CEO Steven LaVoie also showed some small signs of improvement in his natural reflexes, according to a journal entry on the website CaringBridge.org.

LaVoie’s wife has been reading notes to him from well-wishers, according to an entry by Sue Michalowski.

“. . . She is certain that is helping to give him strength,” Michalowski wrote Sunday. “Please continue your prayers.”

Michalowski could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Police say LaVoie was shot Thursday by Tony DeFrances, who had recently been demoted. DeFrances killed himself during the confrontation on the 17th floor of the Bank of America building, 231 S. La Salle St., according to police.

LaVoie and DeFrances were meeting in LaVoie’s office Thursday when co-workers outside heard shouts and three or four gunshots, according to a police source. DeFrances, 60, shot LaVoie, 54, in the stomach and head before turning the gun on himself, police said.

DeFrances was demoted July 25 from his position as chief technology officer, police said. ArrowStream — a firm that sells supply-chain management technology to large restaurants like Wendy’s and Applebee’s — was downsizing.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said DeFrances apparently was despondent over the demotion.

DeFrances, a father of three who lived in far northwest suburban Tower Lakes, was pronounced dead at the scene.

LaVoie, also a father of three who lives in west suburban La Grange, was taken to Northwestern.

The gun DeFrances used was a semi-automatic pistol, said Tom Ahern, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Tracking the history of the weapon is a priority for the agency, he said.

State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said DeFrances did not have a license to own a gun in Illinois.

Email: jseidel@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SeidelContent



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