Thursday, November 11, 1999



By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Kulamanu Losch's sixth-grade class -- left to right, Jonathan
Sucaldito, Eric Saole, Brannon Serdenia, Debreen Garcia, Kathleen
Bacani and Emily Afoa-Souza -- shows proceeds from a penny
drive at Fern Elementary to help the memorial fund for Xerox
shooting victim Jason Balatico's family.

Schools cope
with shootings

The grieving process is evident
at schools where victims' children
attend or relatives are employed

Uyesugi registered Glock in '89

By Crystal Kua


They're making picture books or sympathy cards or going to see a school counselor. Hawaii's schoolchildren are finding ways to cope with the Xerox shootings.

"In violent situations the schools do reflect the normal reactions -- the grief, the shock, the sudden loss -- that a community would feel," school psychologist Charmaine Bissen said.

At least five of the seven men killed had school-age children or relatives working at public schools on Oahu. And it's at these schools that the grieving process has become all the more evident.

"Our campus is holding up well," Fern Elementary Principal Ronald Abe said.

Fern Elementary in Kalihi has started a penny drive in the memory of Jason Balatico, whose daughter and son attend Fern. Balatico's mother is Fern's cook, and his sister-in-law is the school's VISTA coordinator.

"Everyone will be collecting pennies to show their support for the family," Abe said.

Vice Principal Sophia Davis said the money will be presented to Balatico's mother once she returns to work.

Davis said the penny drive is an extension of the school's Aloha United Way campaign. Money that is collected above their goal would be given to the family.

Pennies are a simple and inexpensive memorial with which students and their families can express their condolences, Davis said.

Plans are to keep the penny jars in the classroom after the money is given to the family. The future proceeds will be donated to the memorial fund established by Xerox, Davis said.

The day after the shooting, the school held an assembly to make sure "we were all on the right page with information," Abe said. "It was important that the students heard the news the next day. ... It was important for the students to know."

The Balatico children returned to school Monday.

"The students showed their love and aloha to both children," Abe said. "I think that's important to the children. They can put closure to it."

Students at the school are showing aloha in other ways.

Third-graders made paper leis, second-graders made and sent letters, and first-graders put together picture books.

"Because younger children are less verbal than adolescents, they tend to draw pictures, maybe hold a stuffed animal to basically have something to express grief in their own way," said Bissen, a psychologist with the Maui School District who holds bereavement workshops for school counselors. "We would encourage cards. It helps them cope with the loss."

Bissen said older children, those in middle or high school, are able to talk out their feelings better than the young ones, which makes counseling an appropriate option.

Melvin Lee's son and daughter attend Pearl City High School. Principal Gerald Suyama said counseling is available on an individual basis.

Friends of Lee's daughter are also trying to cope.

"The friends would need counseling because it's an extension of the family," Bissen said.

Mililani Middle School Principal Roger Kim declined to discuss what the school has been doing to assist Ronald Kataoka's daughter, who goes to school there.

But this is the latest tragedy to hit the school.

On Sept. 4 two Mililani Middle School students -- Makaio Rich, 12, and Richard Landingin, 10 -- died after they were pulled unconscious from a Waipio swimming hole.

Kim said the school has learned valuable lessons.

"We know where we can get help and what steps we can take with both staff and student feelings," Kim said. "It's just unfortunate that we have had several incidences this school year, but as staff and students, I think we've handled it well."

John Sakamoto's wife is a fourth-grade teacher at Manoa Elementary, and Peter Mark's older son attends Koko Head Elementary.

Bissen said that if an older child wants to attend a funeral, that should be encouraged.

"The funeral is very healing. It brings structured form of closure, and then the healing process begins," Bissen said. "Next, we want to try to go back into the routine, normal things. Encourage them to go back to their classes. ... Usually, that's what they want to hear."

Balatico's services are scheduled for today and tomorrow. Abe said he anticipates the school will begin to heal once the funeral passes.

"I think things will start getting back to normal."


Uyesugi registered Glock
pistol a decade ago

By Jaymes K. Song


Byran Uyesugi registered a Glock Model 17 9 mm pistol almost a decade ago, on Dec. 11, 1989, according to a state firearms registration filed this week as evidence by prosecutors.

Police say a Glock 9 mm handgun was used to kill seven Xerox workers the morning of Nov. 2, and Uyesugi is the suspected gunman.

However, police would not confirm whether the Glock that Uyesugi registered -- serial number HW 493 US -- is the gun recovered in the company van he was driving at the time of his arrest.

The registered gun was purchased about four years before a 1993 incident in which Uyesugi kicked in an elevator door and was arrested for criminal property damage. That incident led police to deny Uyesugi's application to register another firearm in 1994.

Uyesugi, 40, registered 14 other handguns from 1982 to 1991, according to court documents. His first firearms registration was filed when he was a 22-year-old student in 1982. He registered a .357 Smith & Wesson revolver, a .22-caliber stainless revolver and a .45-caliber Colt semiautomatic pistol.

He purchased his handguns from Security Equipment Corp., Hunting Supplies of Hawaii -- The Armory and the Honolulu Gun Pro Shop. The Glock was purchased from Hunting Supplies of Hawaii -- The Armory, which has since gone out of business.

The owner of Security Equipment Corp., a major supplier to law enforcement, said he remembers Uyesugi coming in to his shop but can't remember if Uyesugi purchased any firearms from him.

Police recovered a total of 19 firearms hours after the shooting -- the one in the van and 18 at his Easy Street home in Nuuanu. The 18 recovered at his home included 11 handguns, five rifles and two shotguns, said Deputy Police Chief Michael Carvalho at a press conference following the shooting.

Some of the rifles and shotguns might not have been registered, police said. But if they were purchased or obtained before 1994, registration was not required.

Police executed a search warrant at Uyesugi's home on Tuesday evening and recovered more evidence. Uyesugi attorney Rodney Ching said he was aware of the search but didn't know whether more firearms were recovered.

Michael Murphy, a member of the Honolulu Gun Club, said Uyesugi did most of his shooting at the Koko Head shooting range. But when the Gun Club closed its pro shop about seven years ago, Uyesugi no longer came in, Murphy said.

"The shooting community is rather small, and most know each other directly or know of each other," Murphy said. "We recognized his name. When we saw him on TV, we recognized his face, but that's about it."

Meanwhile, Uyesugi remains locked up at the Oahu Community Correctional Center on $7 million bail.

He was indicted Tuesday by an Oahu grand jury on nine charges, including first-degree murder, which is punishable by life in prison with no parole.

Accused murderer's
registered firearms

These are the 15 handguns registered to Byran K. Uyesugi:

July 26, 1982
Bullet .357-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver
Bullet .22-caliber stainless revolver
Bullet .45-caliber Colt semiautomatic pistol

Oct. 13, 1988
Bullet .45-caliber Springfield semiautomatic pistol

Nov. 7, 1988
Bullet .45-caliber Colt semiautomatic pistol

May 30, 1989
Bullet .357-caliber Ruger revolver

July 17, 1989
Bullet .22-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver

Dec. 11, 1989
Bullet 9 mm Glock semiautomatic pistol

March 21, 1990
Bullet .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver

May 3, 1990
Bullet .41-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver

May 11, 1990
Bullet .22-caliber Ruger semiautomatic pistol

May 20, 1991
Bullet .22-caliber Remington pistol

Oct. 2, 1991
Bullet .45-caliber Ruger revolver

Nov. 4, 1991
Bullet .44-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver

Dec. 2, 1991
Bullet 9 mm Browning semiautomatic pistol

Source: Hawaii Firearms & Ammunition Registration

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