Tuesday, November 2, 1999



Anatomy of a tragedy

Detectives gathering
the details

Police investigators put together an
account of what happened, and why

Bullet Timeline of events
Bullet The 911 call

By Jaymes K. Song


BYRAN Uyesugi's supervisor was among those slain yesterday at the Xerox Corp. building on Nimitz Highway, company officials revealed today.

Uyesugi is suspected of killing supervisor Melvin Lee and six other men in a rampage that began shortly after 8 a.m.

Xerox officials, speaking at a news conference, also said there were one or two survivors of the shooting.

As detectives piece together the details of the deadliest multiple slaying in Hawaii history, they are trying to determine what caused a reserved technician to gun down seven of his co-workers.

Police believe that Uyesugi, 40, walked into the company offices just after 8 a.m. yesterday and proceeded to the second floor.

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Police and emergency crews at the scene of yesterday's shooting
at the Xerox Engineering Systems Building at
1200 North Nimitz Highway.

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
A police officer runs with a radio and his gun drawn near
the suspect's house at 2835 Easy St. Police recover
18 weapons there.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Fearing the gunman may target workers at Xerox's downtown
office, police closed off the area near 700 Bishop Street.

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Uyesugi empties a cup after driving the Xerox-owned van
to a wooded area near the Hawaii Nature Center
at 2131 Makiki Heights Drive.

A few minutes later, a barrage of gunshots erupted. "We all heard this banging noise, like a hammer hitting on a piece of metal," said Xerox employee Andy De Leon.

"We didn't think anything of it then. Then all of a sudden a boss called out and said, 'Follow us' and we started running out. Someone asked what happened and he said somebody got shot upstairs."

Seven men were found shot dead in two rooms -- five in a conference room and two in an office.

Uyesugi walked out of the building and got into a company van. Parking lot attendant Edith Nakamura said he was calm and collected as he drove away, headed toward the city.

Police said other people were present "at the scene," but no other injuries were reported.

Police issued an all-points-bulletin for the gunman. His description was broadcast by radio stations, and the license number of the van -- GRC-064 -- was shown on television.

Officers headed to his house on Easy Street, and the downtown Xerox office on Bishop Street was evacuated.

Police were sent to areas where tipsters thought they saw Uyesugi. A man who fit his description was seen near an overpass. It wasn't Uyesugi. Someone reported more shots fired in another building less than a mile from the shooting scene. It wasn't related to Uyesugi.

As police hunted for the gunman, he sat quietly in the parked van, reading a magazine outside the Hawaii Nature Center in Makiki.

Timeline of events


Bullet 8:10 a.m.: Byran K. Uyesugi enters the Xerox offices on Nimitz Highway and fires 20 rounds from his 9mm handgun before fleeing in a company van.

Bullet 8:45 a.m.: Police enter Uyesugi's home at 2835 Easy St. and recover 17 weapons, including 11 handguns, 5 rifles and 2 shotguns.

Bullet 9 a.m.: The downtown Xerox office at 700 Bishop St. is evacuated. Police fear Uyesugi will target workers there.

Bullet 10 a.m.: Uyesugi is spotted by a woman jogger near the Hawaii Nature Center at 2131 Makiki Heights Drive.

Bullet 12:15 p.m.: Honolulu Crisis Negotiators arrive at the scene.

Bullet 12:30 p.m.: City prosecutor Peter Carlisle arrives at the Xerox building to examine the crime scene.

Bullet 1 p.m.: Fifty-eight fourth-graders from Hickam Elementary on a hike at nature center are escorted to safety.

Bullet 2 p.m.: Sometime after 2 p.m., 34 first-graders from Iliahi Elementary School leave the nature center and hike a half-mile to Round Top Drive, where they board a school bus.

Bullet 2:50 p.m.: Uyesugi surrenders to police.

Bullet 3 p.m.: First bodies are removed from the Xerox building.

Bullet 3:55 p.m.: Iliahi Elementary School students are reunited with their parents.

Bullet 5:45 p.m.: Last bodies are removed from the Xerox building.

A passing jogger saw the van, and the man inside, and called police at 9:45 a.m.

More than 50 local and federal law-enforcement officers surrounded the vehicle.

After hours of negotiating via cellular phone, Uyesugi surrendered peacefully at 2:50 p.m. A firearm was recovered in the van, but police wouldn't confirm if it was used in the shooting.

Uyesugi was arrested and was being held alone inside a Honolulu police cellblock awaiting charges of first-degree murder and seven counts of second-degree murder. Police said he was being watched carefully.



The slaying is considered one of the deadliest workplace shootings in the nation's history.

In addition to Lee, the dead men at the Xerox office on Nimitz Highway were identified as Ronald Kataoka, Ford Kanehira, Peter Mark, Christopher Balatico, Ronald Kawamae and John Sakamoto.

Their families were notified, and their bodies were carried away in city morgue vans.

According to a detective's report, all the victims had multiple gunshot wounds.

"We want to express our deepest, deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the victims," said Deputy Police Chief Michael Carvalho. "This is a very, very tragic moment for all of us here."

Detectives recovered 20 9mm shell casings inside the building at 1200 N. Nimitz Highway.

Police also recovered 11 handguns, five rifles and two shotguns from Uyesugi's home.

David Mulinix, a volunteer with the American Red Cross, said the agency's disaster action team was mobilized quickly and was at the scene about an hour and a half after the shootings. The Red Cross sent its Disaster Services truck, and volunteer professional counselors assisted victim families, Xerox employees and others from offices on the second floor of the neighboring Nimitz Business Center.

Uyesugi has one criminal conviction, according to state records. He was convicted of driving under the influence in March 1985, after being arrested May 24, 1984.

Glenn Sexton, general manager and vice president of Xerox Hawaii, wouldn't discuss Uyesugi's work record yesterday.

"Our priority right now is helping the families of those we have lost this morning," Sexton said. "I met with some families today. It's very, very difficult, as you might imagine. All of these folks we lost today, I have known my entire career with Xerox, some 20 years. I know many of their families, and they are hurting to say the least."

Because multiple deaths were involved, Uyesugi faces a first-degree murder charge, punishable by a mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole. The state has no death penalty.

The 911 call


This is a transcript of the conversation between Emergency Medical Services and police dispatchers and a male caller. The call was made in conjunction with yesterday's shootings at the Xerox building on North Nimitz Highway.

The first 911 call was made at 8:08 a.m. The call was then routed to EMS dispatchers at 8:09 a.m.

Police arrived at the scene at 8:11 a.m., and ambulance crews arrived three minutes later:

Bullet Click to download the 5-minute emergency call
File size: 1.3 megs
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

Ambulance: This is ambulance. How can I help you?

Caller: Can I get ambulance and police to 1200 N. Nimitz Hwy. Xerox Corp.?

Ambulance: What's wrong?

Caller: Somebody's got a gun and has been shooting people up in the building.

Ambulance: Inside the building?

Caller: Yeah. Inside the building. And you need the cops there now.

Ambulance: You calling from ...

Caller: I'm calling from an office on the side someplace.

Ambulance: OK, 1200 N. Nimitz?

Caller: Right.

Ambulance: OK, hang on now.

(Dispatcher calls police.) Police: Sir, what is going on?

Caller: One of the guys came into our Xerox building with a gun trying to shoot people.

Police: What is the address?

Caller: 1200 N. Nimitz Hwy. Xerox Corp. You got to get there right away.

Police: OK, anybody hurt?

Caller: Yeah, some of the guys say some guys are down. They're dead.

Police: That's the Nimitz Business Center?

Caller: No, next door. 1200 Nimitz. Xerox Corp. I ran over to another building.

Police: OK, where is this guy right now?

Caller: I don't know. He's in the building as far as I know. He might have left. I'm not sure.

Ambulance: Go ahead. We got you. OK, tell me what is going on over there, OK?

Caller: OK, there's this shooting here.

Ambulance: OK, we have HPD. Don't hang up, OK? Everybody coming.

Caller: Great. Great.

Ambulance: OK, go ahead, tell me what's going on.

Caller: There's one shooting here.

Ambulance: How many patients do you have?

Caller: People?

Ambulance: How many people do you think have been shot?

Caller: I can see two or three. Maybe more.

Ambulance: OK, sir, are you out of danger right now?

Caller: Yes, the person just left.

Ambulance: He left the scene?

Caller: Yeah.

Ambulance: OK, stay with me on the phone. We've got everybody coming: police, ambulance and firetruck.

Caller: OK, great.

Ambulance: This is the Xerox building?

Caller: Right. Right on the corner.

Ambulance: Tell me, how many patients can you see right now?

Caller: I'm in a room, my office right now, but I see two people in the next room.

Ambulance: Are they moving or breathing?

Caller: Ah, no.

Ambulance: Is it safe for me to go near them? Are you sure the shooter is gone?

Caller: Yeah.

Ambulance: OK, OK, stay with me now. We've got everybody going. We have people on the way. Hang on. Just a minute. I'm not going to lose you; I am just going to tell the ambulance what is going on.

(Ambulance dispatcher talks to other ambulances.)

Ambulance: We've got two ambulances coming so far. Is it safe for you to leave your room and go check the patients?

Caller: Um, yeah.

Ambulance: Can you do that for me?

Caller: OK, hold on.

(Ambulance dispatch talks to other ambulances.)

Caller: There's at least six people.

Ambulance: Six people. OK. We need another ambulance then.

Caller: It looks like they're dead.

Ambulance: Hang on.

(Ambulance dispatcher communicates with other ambulances.)

Ambulance: The shooter is gone? Is it anyone that you know?

Caller: Yeah. It looks like one of our employees.

Ambulance: OK, and he has left the scene?

Caller: Yeah.

Ambulance: Do you happen to know what kind of weapon it was? Did you see it?

Caller: No, I don't. I didn't see a thing.

Ambulance: OK.

Caller: All I know is, I heard the shot. I saw one person lying on the floor. Then I ran downstairs to get the other people out.

Ambulance: OK, hang on now, OK? Hang on. I'm going to let Queens know what is going on.

Caller: The police are here.

Ambulance: OK. You can let them know ... You can hang up now and let them know we have three ambulances on the way. You did a good job. Thanks a lot.

Star-Bulletin assistant city editor Alan T. Matsuoka,
writer Gordon Y.K. Pang and the Associated
Press contributed to this report.

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