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A murder-suicide in Chicago's financial district

An image of the scene of a murder-suicide at the Bank of America building in Chicago's downtown loop.
An image of the scene of a murder-suicide at the Bank of America building in Chicago's downtown loop.
Photo credited to John Dodge at CBS

Shortly before 10:00 A.M. a shooting was reported in Chicago’s downtown loop at 231 S. LaSalle Street. The building is the location of Chicago’s Bank of America building. “Police sources described the incident as an attempted murder-suicide, with the gunman dead,” reports the Chicago Tribune. A SWAT team has been dispatched to the building and there are reports of significant police activity. Several media and police helicopters can be currently heard over the loop. The shooting was allegedly not random and was in fact targeted. Reports indicate at least one person dead if not two. Both victims reportedly suffered gunshot wounds to the head.

DNAinfo Chicago reports, “A man who was recently demoted from a Downtown company shot his CEO then himself.” Reports say that the company on the 17th floor of the building was ArrowStream. ArrowStream lists its CEO as Steven LaVoie. Mr. Lavoie is married and has three children. Unconfirmed reports list Mr. LaVoie in critical condition. He was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The alleged shooter has been identified as Anthony DeFrances. Mr. DeFrances is 59-years old and was reportedly demoted on Friday July 25th. It has been reported that Mr. DeFrances is dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

This marks the first of a shooting of this nature in downtown Chicago in recent history. The incident will surely resurrect an already lively debate about gun control laws in Chicago and Illinois. Chicago recently passed an ordinance allowing for concealed carry laws. But even with the new pro-gun laws Chicago continues to be known as the city with one of the most, if not, the most stringent gun laws in the country. “The first three months of 2014 have seen the fewest number of homicides since 1958,” the article in the Washington Times article continues on to say, “Gun-rights advocates argue that concealed carry laws can reduce crime and keep the population safer.”

Although gun crime has lowered in 2014, Chicago still suffers from a gun-violence epidemic. Today’s shooting will undoubtedly set off another round of debate about gun-control and how effective it can be in reducing gun violence.

For now, we pray for Mr. LaVoie and his family and that he experiences a speedy and full recovery. But Chicago must also use this as another sad reminder that something must be done to curb the gun violence in the city.

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