BURR RIDGE, Ill. (CBS) -- Police on Wednesday said a day before, a 31-year-old gunman barged into three separate businesses in a– all of which he had worked for at some point – and fired at least five shots before taking his own life.
The gunman – identified as Jeremy Spicer of Arkansas – shot and killed his boss and wounded an accountant.
It all started around 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Meadowbrook Office Center on Frontage Road east of Kingery Highway, or Route 83, in Burr Ridge. A day later, there was still crime scene tape surrounding a building in the complex.
Spicer had been working for about a week as a truck driver for Winner's Freight, which has offices at the Meadowbrook Office Center.
Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso confirmed the attack was a workplace shooting and Spicer was about to lose his job.
"My understanding is he was about to be separated, whether or not he was quitting or he was being terminated probably a distinction without a difference," Mayor Grasso said.
Burr Ridge police said Spicer went into the Winner's Freight office Tuesday afternoon and fired two shots at boss Nicola Misovic, 30, and killed him. Misovic died at a Hinsdale Hospital.
Spicer then went into another office in the same building and fired three shots. He struck a 31-year-old female accountant who has not been identified. She was in critical condition and remains in the ICU, where her condition has been stabilized after undergoing surgery.
Spicer next went to a third business called Egzit Corporation and demanded to see the boss, who wasn't there. At that point, Spicer left and walked east from the building.
"Mr. Spicer having fled, he made his way into the 7900 block of Burr Ridge, our police had cordoned off his escape route and he tried to hide in the building," Grasso said. "The employees obviously knew he was not supposed to be there, and they contacted the police – and when the police were about to apprehend him, he took his own life."
CBS 2's Jackie Kostek spoke to the Egzit owner. He didn't want to go on camera, but said Spicer had worked for him for three weeks back in November.
The business owner said he knew almost immediately that hiring Spicer was a "mistake," because Spicer seemed distracted and dismissive. He believes if he would have been at work, he would have been Spicer's next target.
The Egzit owner said he always leaves for the gym around 3 p.m., but on Tuesday, he left 20 minutes early. He said he always felt the gym would save his life somehow, but he did not expect it would be in this way.
And as law enforcement searched the area for Spicer shortly after the shootings and before he took his own life, a nearby business caught him walking down the street. The owner of PuroClean, Nick Pacella, said his employees were working outside at the time.
"You show up to work, you come to do your job - and the next thing you know, there's a killer right behind your door who very well could've tried to have got in here, to injure somebody, hide - no one knows what his intentions were," Pacella said.
Police said a Glock .40 caliber handgun was recovered with Spicer.
Spicer was staying at the LaQuinta Inn in Willowbrook while working for Winner's Freight, police confirmed. A warrant was executed on his room and an empty holster was recovered.
The motel is apparently a popular spot with truckers. It is where truck driver Aaron Baker has also been staying.
"I don't know what would make somebody so crazy over something as petty as a load. That's no reason to take somebody's life and certainly end yours," Baker said. "We always get told, if you're that unhappy, go find another job."
Police are still trying to figure out if the gun Spicer used was legal.
"He didn't have anything in Illinois. We haven't determined yet what the requirements are in Arkansas," said Burr Ridge Deputy police Chief Marc Loftus. "We're working with the ATF now to do a trace now on the firearm."
Sean Ahrens has developed guides and advises companies on how to fire people safely to avoid workplace violence.
Ahrens told CBS 2's Charlie De Mar that some things to watch for are: "Have they made direct threats; veiled threats? Disgruntled-ism towards superiors – 'It's not my fault' - placing blame on others; fascination with weapons."
He also noted the importance of identifying red flags, like Spicer's previous domestic battery charge in his home state of Arkansas.
"Looking at criminal history – I can't stress enough – there is no better predictor for future behavior than past behavior," Ahrens said.
Meanwhile, Schaumburg police said they also had a run-in with Spicer just last summer at another trucking company over another financial dispute.
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