Thursday, November 4, 1999

In remembrance

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Lani Goscha, who works across the street at Uniforms Hawaii,
came by this morning to place flowers at the Xerox building.
She was met by American Red Cross disaster relief worker
Dolly Hinch, who was there to assist anyone who needed help
coping with the tragedy. "I don't know anyone there," Goscha
said, "but I feel sorry for the families and the kids." At least five
of the seven victims were part of alleged gunman Byran K.
Uyesugi's work group, which was meeting in the building
at the time the gunman opened fire.

Dealing with
senseless death

Services for three of the seven
victims shot to death Tuesday at
Xerox Corp.'s Nimitz Highway
building have been set.

Bullet The impact of counseling
Bullet More coverage



The 33-year-old repair technician will be remembered in services 7 p.m. next Thursday at Nuuanu Mortuary. Call from 6 to 9 p.m. Mass: 9:30 a.m. Nov. 12 at Our Lady of the Mount Church. Call after 8 a.m. Burial: Valley of the Temples.

Balatico was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Merry Lynn, children Kehaunani and Jason Jr., parents Lawrence and Evelyn, brother Robert and sister Denise Kumalae.


The 54-year-old service agent technical specialist will be remembered in services 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at Diamond Head Mortuary. Call after 5:30 p.m.

Kawamae was born in Honolulu. He is survived by son Reid and a grandson.


The 58-year-old customer service field operations manager from Waipahu will be remembered in services 3 p.m. Sunday at Nuuanu Mortuary. Call after 1:30 p.m. Casual attire.

Lee was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife Ann, sons Scot and Blaine, daughter Melanie, sisters Audrey and Sheila, and a grandson.



Advisers urge employees
to talk, be patient

'People need to come to their own
conclusions on why this happened'

By Lori Tighe


They may hear a strange ringing in their ears, suffer headaches, stomachaches, insomnia, nightmares and an inability to concentrate. Their emotions may range from fear to sadness to rage.

Most, however, are still in shock 48 hours after the tragedy.

In many ways survivors of Tuesday's Xerox shooting experience the same symptoms as those of the Sacred Falls rock slide on Mother's Day, which killed eight people.

But the emotional damage is deeper.

"There are more questions with a senseless crime," said Leslie Kissner, director of Hawaii Employee Assistance Services for Child and Family Services. The nonprofit has been contracted to counsel Xerox employees through the aftermath of the multiple shootings.

"It's our first major workplace violence. We haven't had this type of magnitude in Hawaii before," Kissner said. "It was a wake-up call for all of us. It hit home. It could happen to any one of us."

Counselors from Child and Family Services, Red Cross, Honolulu Police Department and Department of Health are meeting with employees, witnesses and survivors of the seven victims. They are also talking with anyone from the public who comes to the Xerox building on Nimitz Highway and asks for help.

"Initially, it's going to be real hard to concentrate on their jobs. They'll feel lots of emotions: angry, frustrated, violated and scared. They question their safety. You take for granted you work in a safe place," Kissner said.

"But it can bring people closer together. That is my hope for this company."

Stephani Monet, a Red Cross volunteer, positioned herself outside the Xerox building on Nimitz Highway along with a dozen other counselors to talk to the traumatized. She met privately with about 25 people.

"It's been a very busy day down here. A lot of them are in disbelief that this could happen. We try to let them know we're here to talk to and allow them to express what they're feeling," said Monet, a mental health nurse and Red Cross crisis volunteer since about 1995.

It's important for them to talk, she said. If they don't, it'll start to bother them physically. It's also important for them to drink fluids, eat well, exercise and get adequate sleep.

"It's easy to forget to eat in something like this," Monet said.

HPD professionals held group meetings with the witnesses to the crime, because they were most traumatized by the event, Kissner said.

Counselors held "debriefing" sessions, a group process encouraging survivors and co-workers to talk about their flood of feelings. They also provide information on what's helped others get through something like this.

"People need to come to their own conclusions on why this happened, whether it be through spiritual beliefs or something else," Kissner said. "People need to have patience with each other during recovery. We all experience it differently."

The trauma will usually last a couple of weeks, with each day lessening, she said. "We advise people to get help if it lasts longer."

Of course, grief will last longer for family members of the victims, anywhere from a day to a lifetime, said Kissner, who counseled about 50 people yesterday.

"Go do all those things you normally do while you work through this," she said. "In stressful situations we tend to stop doing what's good for us."

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