By Jeremy Gorner, Marwa Eltagouri and Meredith Rodriguez, Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — An executive of a Loop company shot and killed himself after critically wounding the CEO of the firm in a dispute over a demotion, police said.
The shooting happened shortly before 10 a.m. in the offices of the ArrowStream company on the 17th floor of a building in downtown Chicago, police sources said.
One of the victims, a 59-year-old executive of the company, was dead on the scene with a gunshot wound to the head, the sources said, citing preliminary information.
The other man, the 54-year-old CEO of ArrowStream, was shot in the head and stomach and was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to police and fire officials.
Police described the incident as an attempted murder-suicide. “It’s a workplace violence issue,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.
The company has been downsizing and has demoted a number of people. The shooter was demoted on Friday and asked for a one-on-one meeting with the CEO this morning. Around 9:55 a.m., there was a report of shots fired.
The CEO was shot in the head and stomach and is in “grave condition.” The shooter killed himself.
“Apparently he was despondent over the fact that he got demoted,” McCarthy said, adding that police were interviewing 10 witnesses.
McCarthy said there was “plenty of security in the building. He’s apparently a longtime employee. He comes in with a backpack like an employee normally does. . . This is a personal thing.”
A SWAT team arrived on the scene within minutes of the shooting but the building was not evacuated. Dozens of people stood and stared as police secured the building, taking photos. A helicopter hovered overhead.
Jay McKeon, 24, works at the building across the street as a commodity trader. He said he saw an older man wheeled out in a stretcher shortly after the shooting.
He also saw a paramedic cock his hand like a gun and point it at his head.
Ambaj Sharma used to work in the building and now works at the building next door.
He said he saw police cars, ambulances, and then a man pulled out on a stretcher. “It didn’t look good from up there,” he said.
He immediately texted and face-timed his brother who works on the 14th floor.
His brother said that, after the shooting, it was announced over the loud speakers that there was an armed intruder in the building and everyone was asked to stay on their floor.
“I think they felt they were safe because they were in a closed space on their own floor,” he said.
Neil Machchhar works on the 14th floor in the technology department of Advantage Futures. He said he didn’t hear any shots but received several texts and phone calls alerting him.
About five minutes later, he heard a voice on the loud speaker announcing an intruder and telling them to stay put.
“The person on the PA system sounded shaky too,” Machchhar said.
Everyone in his office on the 14th floor was concerned and wanted to know what was going on, he said. “Now that it’s resolved I feel fine,” he said.
Photo: Chicago Tribune/MCT/Nancy Stone
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