Thursday, November 4, 1999



One was spared

A survivor tells police he heard
shots and saw co-workers
slump and fall on the day
of the attack

Bullet The 911 calls
Bullet More coverage

By Rod Ohira and
Jaymes K. Song


RANDALL Shin was seated at his desk in Room 204 of the Xerox Corp. building on Nimitz Highway Tuesday when he heard the first gunshots shortly after 8 a.m.

Shin told police he turned to his left and saw co-worker Ronald Kawamae slumped downward over his chair.

"Shin observed co-worker Jason Balatico to his far left attempting to leave the room when he heard more gunshots and saw Balatico bleeding, fall to the ground," says a police affidavit prepared by Special Services Division officer James Vadset, which was filed yesterday at District Court.

According to the affidavit, Shin turned toward the doorway and smelled gunpowder.

"Shin observed co-worker Byran Uyesugi standing at the doorway where the gunshots came from," the affidavit says.

Shin was spared, but seven co-workers died in a horrific eruption of workplace violence.

Besides Kawamae, 54 and Balatico, 33, the victims were Ron Kataoka, 50; John Sakamoto, 36; Melvin Lee, 58; Peter Mark, 46, and Ford Kanehira, 41.

Illustration by David Swann, Star-Bulletin
Click the image to see a large (109K) version


How the tragedy unfolded during Tuesday's rampage by Byran K. Uyesugi at the Xerox building at 1200 N. Nimitz Highway, according to a court document filed yesterday by the Honolulu Police Department.

1. Uyesugi enters the building and climbs the stairs to the second floor.

2. Enters Room 204, and shoots and kills Ronald Kawamae, 54, who is seated at a desk.

3. Shoots and kills Jason Balatico, 33, who had tried to flee.

4. Uyesugi turns and moves down the hallway, allowing Randall Shin to leave the room unharmed. Shin runs down the stairway and exits the building.

5. Uyesugi heads for a conference room where five employees had gathered for a meeting at 8 a.m.

6. Uyesugi shoots and kills Ron Kataoka, 50; John Sakamoto, 36; his supervisor, Melvin Lee, 58; Peter Mark, 46; and Ford Kanehira, 41.

7. Uyesugi exits the building through the back entrance and flees the area in a company van.



At least five of the seven victims were part of alleged gunman Byran K. Uyesugi's work group, which was meeting at the building. According to Xerox, the meeting was not about Uyesugi being fired and there was no previous discussion about his termination.

"He was under no threat of losing his job," said Rick Thoman, Xerox president and chief executive. "There was no thought of it, no hint of it."

Xerox officials are puzzled at what prompted the 40-year-old "quiet, shy and reserved" service technician, to allegedly fire more than two dozen rounds from his 9mm Glock handgun at his supervisor -- Lee -- and six co-workers.

"We don't know what was the spark that pushed him to do this," Thoman said.

Xerox Hawaii general manager and vice president Glenn Sexton described Uyesugi as a "loner," who had been with the company for almost 15 years.

He said there were no signs indicating Uyesugi was anything but a good worker.

Chief medical examiner Dr. Alvin Omori yesterday said all the victims died from gunshot wounds. He had no further comment, but a police investigator's report noted that all the victims had multiple wounds.

Uyesugi, 40, a Xerox technician, was to be charged today with one count of first-degree murder and seven counts of second-degree murder, said Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Peter Carlisle, whose office will be seeking bail of $5 million or more.

Byran K. Uyesuji"We want to keep him in, no release," Carlisle said.

Twenty-eight 9mm shell casings from a Glock semiautomatic handgun were recovered at the scene, police said.

Vadset's affidavit says Katherine Ling, a cashier at Crown Parking at 1130 N. Nimitz Highway, told homicide Detective Mark Wiese that she saw an Oriental man, known to her as a Xerox employee, "walking calmly out of the back entrance."

Ling said there was a bulge on the right side of the man's shirt and that he entered a green company van and drove off on Ala Kawa Street, the affidavit says.

Debbie Kini, Xerox customer service support manager, told police the van was assigned to Uyesugi, Vadset said.

Police began surrounding the parked van on the road leading to Hawaii Nature Center at 9.55, about 10 minutes after a jogger spotted the vehicle.

It took nearly five hours for police crisis negotiators to convince Uyesugi to surrender.

At no time did anyone go into the vehicle with the suspect, Deputy Police Chief Michael Carvalho said.

"It was a time-consuming peaceful resolution to a violent situation, which is good," Carvalho said. "If it's only going to take time then our strategy is why not do it."

While "patting down" Uyesugi, Vadset saw an empty brown handgun holster on the suspect's right hip and found a folding knife in a leather pocket attached to his belt on the left side, the affidavit says.

The fear is that Tuesday's multiple murder may have opened the door to other such incidents.

"The glass is broken, water is spilled," Carlisle said. "There's more of it going on and it's a nationwide problem."

Uyesugi's family hired an attorney, so police were unable to question the suspect to determine a possible motive, homicide Lt. Allen Napoleon said.

The evidence suggests two questions with respect to Uyesugi's defense, said Carlisle. One is insanity and the other is "extreme emotional mental disturbance for which there is a reasonable explanation," known as the "Pada defense."

The 911 calls


Police 911 conversations related to Xerox multiple shootings that left seven dead Tuesday:

This is a transcript of the conversation between Emergency Medical Services and police dispatchers and a male caller.

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.


Bullet Click to download 1:06 sec. 911 call
File size: 263K
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

Bullet 911: Police, may I help you?
Bullet Female caller: Yes, my employee just called me at the Xerox Building on-uh-on Nimitz. There's a shooting going on.
Bullet 911: What happened?
Bullet Caller: I don't know. They are shooting, all the employees came.
Bullet 911: What are you saying?
Bullet Caller: Huh, they all ran over to our place at 1130 North Nimitz.
Bullet 911: What's the address over there?
Bullet Caller: 1130 North Nimitz. And the Xerox Building there's a shooting going on. They all came running over here because the shooting going on.
Bullet 911: Can anybody talk to me?
Bullet Caller: (unintelligible)
Bullet 911: Can anybody talk to me from over there?
Bullet Caller: I don't know. I'm in my car right now. I'm entering Nimitz Business Center right now.
Bullet 911: Can you see anything else? Is anybody else there with you?
Bullet Caller: No, I'm just driving in. My employee, my cashier at Nimitz Business Center, just called me, and she said there's plenty employees from Xerox running over here, there's a shooting going on -- at the Xerox Building.
Bullet 911: OK.
Bullet Caller: OK.
Bullet 911: Thank you.


Bullet Click to download 2:20 sec. 911 call
File size: 560K
Quicktime | MPEG-3 info

Bullet 911: Sir, what's going on?
Bullet Male caller: It's -- one of the guys came into our Xerox Building with a gun. He start to shoot people.
Bullet 911: What is the address?
Bullet Caller: 1200 North Nimitz Highway, Xerox Corp. You gotta get there right away.
Bullet 911: OK, anybody hurt?
Bullet Caller: Yeah, some of the guys said some guys are down. They're dead.
Bullet 911: OK, that's in Nimitz Business Center?
Bullet Caller: No, next door, 1200 North Nimitz, Xerox Corp. I ran over to another building.
Bullet 911: OK, where is this guy right now?
Bullet Caller: I don't know. He's in the building as far as I know. He might have left. I'm not sure.
Bullet 911: So you don't know what -- what he looks like?
Bullet Caller: No, he's about, oh, 5-6, 5-7, 150-160 pounds, Oriental guy.
Bullet 911: OK, are you hurt in any way?
Bullet Caller: No, no.
Bullet 911: OK, what's he wearing?
Bullet Caller: No, I don't know. I was in another room. They said they are shooting. Everybody took off. And some of the guys told me that's the guy Byran shooting people.
Bullet 911: OK. So, you, all you know the guy's name is Byran.
Bullet Caller: Byran Uyesugi. Yeah. One of the guys saw him shooting the other guys.
Bullet 911: Ok, sir, thanks, he's on the first floor of the building? Second floor or where?
Bullet Caller: Second floor.
Bullet 911: Second floor
Bullet Caller: Yeah, the shooting took place on the second floor, but I don't know where it is.
Bullet 911: The front side? Back side?
Bullet Caller: Ah, it's just, just uh -- all through the second floor.
Bullet 911: OK, we'll get officers over there. You stay outside, away from any windows or anything, OK. We'll get officers over there.
Bullet Caller: Yeah, you better, you better be ready for him. He's got a gun. OK?
Bullet 911: The officers on the way.
Bullet Caller: All right, thanks.
Bullet 911: OK, bye bye.

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