The Xerox murders
was a mass murder in which a Xerox service technician,
Byran Koji Uyesugi (born 1959), in Honolulu, Hawaii
killed seven of his co-workers on November 2, 1999. This
was the worst mass murder case in the history of Hawaii.
The case also heightened awareness of workplace violence
in Hawaii and elsewhere.
Uyesugi's Early life
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Uyesugi
lived in the Nuuanu neighborhood of Honolulu. While
attending Roosevelt High School, Uyesugi was a member of
the school's Army JROTC chapter and was a member of the
school's riflery team. Classmates remembered him as a
quiet student who never got into trouble.
According to his brother Dennis,
Uyesugi crashed their father's car and hit his head on
the windshield shortly after graduating high school in
1977 coming home from a graduation party and was never
Uyesugi had been employed by Xerox as
a technician since 1984. Among his hobbies was raising
and breeding goldfish and koi, which he would
sell to local pet stores. He also had an extensive
collection of firearms, and at the time of the murder
had as many as 25 guns registered in his name dating
back to 1982. Police also recovered 11 handguns, 5
rifles and 2 shotguns from Uyesugi's father.
to shooting (trouble at work)
According to testimony from Uyesugi's
father, Hiroyuki, Uyesugi was normal until he started
working for Xerox in 1984. Then when Hiroyuki's wife (Byran's
mother) died in 1988, Byran started to complain that he
had a poking sensation in his head.
apparently began soon after he was transferred to
another workgroup. He began making unfounded accusations
of harassment and product tampering against fellow
repairmen, who had great difficulty placating his anger.
Former co-workers who knew him
reported the other members of his team allegedly
ostracized him, making him feel isolated and withdrawn.
His anger was such that he reportedly made threats
against other co-workers' lives.
In 1993, he was ordered to undergo
psychiatric evaluation and anger management courses
after he kicked in and damaged an elevator door for
which he was arrested. Uyesugi was arrested for third
degree criminal property damage.
Coworkers told Dr. Michael Welner, a
forensic psychiatrist who interviewed Uyesugi prior to
trial, that as early as 1995, Uyesugi was openly
speaking of carrying out a mass shooting at the
workplace were he ever to be fired.
The psychiatrist who examined him at
the time of this arrest found that Uyesugi suffered from
a delusional disorder and paranoia, but found him not to
be dangerous. Byran Uyesugi reported experiencing
auditory (voices in his head) and visual (a black shadow
following him) hallucinations. Byran alleged that there
was a conspiracy, and that his home was bugged with
listening devices. He felt that his co-workers were
engaged in patterns of harassment, back stabbing
behavior, and spreading of rumors.
In 1993, Uyesugi told his brother
that a shadow pinned him down. The family had their
house blessed by a Shingon priest in 1997 hoping to help
him, but even the minister suspected Uyesugi had a
mental illness. Later that year, Uyesugi's father
suggested that he see a psychiatrist. Uyesugi did not.
In the period leading up to the
shooting, Xerox management increasingly committed to
phasing out the copier that Uyesugi had been servicing.
He resisted learning the new machine, fearing that he
could not keep up with its technical demands. After
working around his refusal to train on the new machine,
Uyesugi’s manager insisted on November 1, 1999 that he
would begin training the next day.
In his interview with
forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner, M.D., who examined
Uyesugi when the defendant brought an insanity defense,
Uyesugi reasoned that because he would refuse to
undertake the training, management would then fire him.
As he told Dr. Michael Welner, “I decided to give them a
reason to fire me.”
of the shooting
On the morning of November 2, 1999,
Uyesugi reported to work at the Xerox building and
opened fire with a 9mm Glock, killing his supervisor and
six co-workers and firing in the direction of another co-worker
who fled the building. After the shooting, Uyesugi fled
in a company van.
Police closed down several streets in
downtown Honolulu as they investigated the crime scene.
By mid-morning, the police had Uyesugi cornered in the
mountains above downtown Honolulu. After a nearly five-hour
standoff, Uyesugi surrendered to police shortly before 3
Christopher Balatico, 33
Ford Kanehira, 41
Ronald Kataoka, 50
Ronald Kawamae, 54
Melvin Lee, 58
Peter Mark, 46
John Sakamoto, 36
Trial and incarceration
Uyesugi's month long trial began on May 15, 2000. He
pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and claimed
that he felt like an outcast at work and that he feared
his colleagues were conspiring to have him fired.
Dr. Park Dietz and Dr.
Daryl Matthews testified for the defense that he was
insane, citing the delusions about how others were
tampering with his fish. Dr. Michael Welner testified
for the prosecution that although Mr. Uyesugi was in his
opinion a schizophrenic, he carried out the shooting
because he was angry that he would be fired for
insubordination, and that his own account of concealment
before the crime demonstrated that he knew what he had
done was wrong.
The jury found him sane and guilty of
seven murders and one attempted murder. He received a
sentence of life without chance of parole. Hawaii does
not have the death penalty.
He appealed his conviction. In 2002,
the State of Hawaii Supreme Court upheld Uyesugi's
conviction. In 2004 Uyesugi was considering fighting his
conviction based on Rule 40, inadequate representation
by his lawyers in his first trial.
In 2005, Xerox and the hospital that
examined Uyesugi settled a lawsuit brought by the
families of the shooting victims, who felt that both had
ignored clear signs of Uyesugi's mental instability.
Uyesugi is now being held in
Tallahatchie County Correctional facility in Tutwiler,
Mississippi. This is due to overcrowding and inadequate
facilities to house a prisoner in isolation at Halawa
Xerox vacated the premises at 1200 N.
Nimitz Highway after the shooting, and they stood idle
until 2004, when the producers of the TV show Lost
built a sound stage there to film indoor scenes.
7 killed at Hawaii
Xerox; repairman surrenders
Manhunt leads to long
November 3, 1999
HONOLULU - A 40-year-old
Xerox Corp. repairman allegedly shot and killed seven co-workers
yesterday in the country's latest workplace shooting and the worst mass
murder in Hawaii history.
Residents of the 50th state awoke
yesterday morning to a drama that turned into a protracted standoff with
police and ended with the suspect's surrender in midafternoon.
Gunman in Hawaii kills 7 of his Xerox
Surrenders after 5-hour standoff
November 3, 1999
In the latest
outburst of workplace violence, a disgruntled copier repairman fatally
shot seven co-workers Tuesday morning, then surrendered after a five-hour
standoff, police said.
Police believe Byran Uyesugi, a 15-year
Xerox employee, shot seven fellow copier technicians at about 8 a.m. (noon
CST) before fleeing in a company van with a gun. He eventually stopped
several miles away in a leafy, residential neighborhood, where police
began negotiating with him.
Xerox employee snaps,
Wordt mass murder in
The Cincinnati Post
November 3, 1999
remembers his son losing his temper only once during 15 years at the
Xerox Corp., when he kicked an elevator door a few years ago and had to
undergo anger management counseling.
But nothing in Byran Uyesugi's
history hinted at the bloodshed that erupted at Xerox's offices on
Tuesday, when police say he walked into a second-floor meeting room and
shot seven co-workers to death.
motive a mistery
Xerox denied it had
plan to dismiss suspect
Detroit Free Press
November 4, 1999
Police and relatives
on Wednesday still wondered why a Xerox repairman who collected rare
goldfish would kill seven coworkers in the largest mass shooting in
Xerox, in a statement, denied it had
planned to terminate 40-year-old Byran Uyesugi after 15 years. "Contrary
to media reports, Xerox had no intention of laying off Mr. Uyesugi," the
pleads innocent to killing co-workers
The Commercial Appeal
November 6, 1999
HONOLULU - The copier
repairman accused of calmly walking into a Xerox Corp. parts warehouse
and gunning down seven members of his work team pleaded innocent Friday
to multiple murder charges.
Byran Uyesugi, 40, was ordered held
on $7 million bail pending a preliminary hearing Tuesday on one count of
first-degree murder and seven counts of second-degree murder.
Under Hawaii law, the first-degree
murder charge covers multiple killings. It carries a mandatory sentence
of life imprisonment without parole.
Accused killer at
Xerox faced rebuke for light workload, prosecutor says
The Commercial Appeal
November 10, 1999
A copier repairman
accused of gunning down seven of his Xerox Corp. co-workers last week
was about to be reprimanded for not working as hard as his colleagues,
the city prosecutor said Tuesday.
The revelation came after Byran
Uyesugi was indicted by a grand jury on charges of murder and attempted
murder. He remains held on $7 million bail pending another court hearing
No motive has been disclosed.
Accused Gunman Faced Work Reprimand
Possible Motive Cited in Xerox Shooting
Nov. 10, 1999
HONOLULU (AP) -- Seven Xerox Corp. employees allegedly
shot dead by a co-worker were planning to talk with him about his
lagging workload the day of the shooting, a prosecutor said.
Byran Uyesugi was not going to be fired, and the
gathering was not to be "just a meeting to pick on him," city
prosecutor Peter Carlisle said Tuesday.
His comments shed some light on what may have
motivated Uyesugi's alleged Nov. 2 attack. No motive has been disclosed.
A grand jury indicted Uyesugi on Tuesday on charges of
murder and attempted murder. He remains held on $7 million bail pending
another court hearing next week.
If convicted, Uyesugi could face life imprisonment
without parole. Hawaii does not have the death penalty.
Uyesugi, 32, is accused of walking into the Xerox
parts warehouse and firing a 9 mm handgun 28 times at six colleagues and
a supervisor. All seven men died.
Five died in a conference room where the meeting was
to take place, according to a police affidavit. An employee in another
room was uninjured, though two others there were killed.
Carlisle also said an eighth worker was shot at as he
fled down a staircase, but was not hurt.
Xerox president G. Richard Thoman stressed last week
that Uyesugi was not about to be fired. Xerox officials refused to
discuss Uyesugi's work history, citing employee confidentiality rules.
Company spokesman Jeffrey Simek said Tuesday the
company had "no indication ... that the employee had cause to fear
for the security of his job."
Defense attorney Jerel Fonseca has said he is
exploring an insanity defense for Uyesugi.
Xerox Shooting Suspect Pleads Innocent
$7 Milion Bail Revoked; Jan. 18 Trial Date Set
Nov. 16, 1999
HONOLULU (AP) -- The copier repairman charged with
killing seven of his Xerox co-workers has pleaded innocent to all nine
counts of a grand jury indictment.
A Circuit Court judge on Monday then revoked Byran
Uyesugi's $7 million bail and set a Jan. 18 trial date.
The 40-year-old Uyesugi is accused of going on a
shooting spree Nov. 2 at a Xerox Corp. parts warehouse. Six of his
fellow technicians and a supervisor were killed.
No motive has been released, but prosecutors have said
the victims were gathering for a morning meeting to discuss Uyesugi's
light workload, among other things.
At least 28 bullet casings from a 9 mm semiautomatic
handgun were found at the scene, authorities said. Uyesugi surrendered
to police after a five-hour armed standoff.
Uyesugi was indicted last week on one count of first-degree
murder, seven counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted
murder in the second-degree.
Under state law, first-degree murder covers multiple
killings and carries a penalty of life imprisonment without parole.
Hawaii has no death penalty.
Uyesugi was charged with attempted murder for
allegedly firing at, and missing, a colleague who was fleeing down the
Xerox shooting trial
set for May 15
24 November 1999
A trial date has been
set for the Xerox shootings. Despite protests from prosecutors, the
murder trial for the copy machine repairman accused of killing 7 co-workers
has been pushed back until May 2000.
As Beth Hillyer reports, the delay
gives attorneys more time to prepare Byran Uyesugi's defense
Prosecutors are pushing for a speedy
trial in March.
Hawaii Office Massacre Suspect Fit for Trial
Man Charged With Killing Seven Co-Workers
Feb. 3, 2000
HONOLULU (AP) -- A copier repairman accused of killing
seven of his Xerox Corp. co-workers last November is mentally fit to
stand trial, a state judge ruled Wednesday.
Judge Michael Town ruled after both prosecutors and
defense attorneys stipulated that 40-year-old Byran Uyesugi was mentally
competent for the case to proceed toward a May 15 trial date.
Town also granted a defense motion sealing parts of a
report by a court-appointed panel of doctors who examined Uyesugi to
determine if he's competent to assist in his own defense.
Both sides argued that making certain parts of the
report public could prejudice Uyesugi's right to a fair trial.
Uyesugi has pleaded innocent to murder charges in the
Nov. 2 shootings. He is being held without bail.
Hawaii man guilty of killing 7 at
Akron Beacon Journal
June 14, 2000
A Xerox copier repairman was
convicted of murder yesterday for fatally shooting seven co-workers in
Hawaii's worst mass murder.
Jurors rejected the insanity defense
for Byran Uyesugi, who faces up to life in prison. Hawaii does not have
the death penalty. The defense did not dispute that Uyesugi, 40, shot
and killed the seven Xerox Corp. employees on Nov. 2, but he pleaded
innocent by reason of insanity.
Xerox gunman gets life
The Cincinnati Post
August 9, 2000
A Xerox employee who gunned down
seven co-workers last November was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison
without parole. Byran Uyesugi was convicted in June of killing the seven
men and trying to kill an eighth. Hawaii has no death penalty. Uyesugi
was impassive as bereaved family members spoke in court. His attorney
said Uyesugi believes he was justified in killing the men because he
felt they were trying to have him fired.
Hawaii Gunman kills seven
The standoff has ended in Honolulu, where police have
arrested a man who allegedly shot and killed seven people at a Xerox
Corp. plant in Honolulu, before fleeing in a company van.
The armed suspect was cornered by police in a
residential neighborhood northeast of the shooting scene. Negotiators
had been talking with him through a bullhorn for hours and he could be
seen pacing back and forth outside the van.
Armed with what appeared to be a 9mm handgun, the man
walked into a Xerox building on the North Nimitz Highway, a few miles
from the downtown area, shortly after 0800 local time (1800 GMT) and
began shooting. Five victims were found dead in a conference room in the
building on North Nimitz Highway, a few miles from downtown, and two
other bodies were found nearby, police said.
"It appears as though it was a disgruntled
employee who snapped," Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris said.
Ambulance teams that went into the building found a "grisly" scene, said Richard Soo of the city fire department.
Police identified the gunman as Byran Koji Uesugi,
40, an employee in Xerox's technical services division. Sam Anoulack,
another Xerox employee, said Uesugi had worked in the building for
around 10 years.
Police cordoned off a half-mile area around the
vehicle, which is near the Hawaii Nature Center, a popular conservancy
for schoolchildren. About 60 fourth-graders and 12 chaperones from
Hickam Elementary School were on a nature hike at the time when police
told them to get to higher ground.
About 10 nearby homes were evacuated.
"We are hopeful we're going to be able to
negotiate a peaceful settlement," Deputy Police Chief Mike Carvalho
All seven victims were male Xerox employees who were
shot on the second floor of the two-story building, authorities said.
They ranged from age from 33-58. No other people were injured.
Mr Uesugi was a member of his high school rifle team
and had up to 17 weapons registered in his name.
"This could have been much, much worse," the mayor
Police said the whereabouts of Mr Uesugi's wife were
unknown and were a cause of concern. She did not report to work on
Uesugi is no stranger to authorities. According to
the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, he was found guilty of driving
under the influence in 1985, had his license suspended and was sentenced
to 72 hours community service and a $200 fine.
Honolulu police say Uesugi was also arrested at a
Xerox facility in 1993 while he was an employee there, but he was never
In another incident he was charged with 3rd degree
criminal property damage for kicking a wall and an elevator door after a
flare up at work. No other information is available on this incident.
Uesugi was denied a gun permit in 1994 for
unknown reasons but he was allowed to keep an extensive collection of
handguns that he had purchased and registered over a 10-year period
leading up to 1992.
Uesugi was denied a permit to buy an 18th gun in
1994, following his arrest for criminal property damage at the same
Xerox building -- an incident described by police as a "flare-up at
the office." No one was injured in that episode.
In a company statement, Xerox said, "This is a
tragic event. Our foremost concern is for the safety and security of our
employees and for the comfort of the families of the victims."
The shooting spree, the worst in the history of
Hawaii, is the latest in a series of killings in US workplaces this year.
The list of victims:
Melvin Lee, 58
Ron Kawamae, 54
Ron Kataoka, 50
Peter Mark, 46
Ford Kanehira, 41
John Sakamoto, 36
Jason Balatico, 33
40-year-old Byran Uyesugi worked for more than 15
years as a technician who serviced Xerox company machines and spent most
of his time at the Nimitz warehouse. Co-workers didn't know much about
him, but were worried about the way he handled his stress. Linda Hosek
joins us in the newsroom more about the alleged gunman.
This is an employee who rarely missed work and
arrived every day in an aloha shirt and slacks. Co-workers said he had a
lot of knowledge about his job, but no social skills.
Byran Uyesugi was a recluse, and a recluse with a gun
collection. Police say he had 17 firearms registered in his name. Co-workers
say he wasn't violent, but they could see stress building from personal
interactions at work. They also said they worried about this stress
because they knew about his gun collection.
In that vein, a security guard said Xerox brought in
a crisis management team about three years ago because officials felt
Uyesugi was "out of control." Uyesugi apparently was leaving threatening
notes that depicted a gunman shooting co-workers.
The guard said Uyesugi said he that was overwhelmed
by his workload and company quotas for technicians. The guard said he
admitted himself to a local hospital for mental health treatment on the
advice of the crisis treatment.
A co-worker said Uyesugi was scheduled for training
on another machine and was one of the last technicians to get trained on
that model. The co-worker also said that she doesn't think that Uyesugi
planned the shooting, that he just snapped.
Uyesugi was convicted in 1984 of drunken driving. Co-workers
said he was unmarried and had no children. In addition to guns, Uyesugi
also collected fish and cigars and even gave some of his fish to co-workers.
Uyesugi's father issued a statement through his
attorney. He said the family would like to express its deepest sympathy
and condolences to the victims and their families. He also said the
family is trying to understand what happened today and they offer their
prayers during this tragedy.
The massacre in the Xerox building goes down as the
worst mass murder in Hawaii's history and one of the worst office
killings in the country. Police say the shootings took place in the
Xerox building in the 1200 block of Nimitz Highway. The suspect them
calmly left in a Xerox van and headed to the Makiki area where he was
arrested this afternoon. We begin our team coverage with Darren Pai
who's live in front of the Xerox building where it all began.
(Darren) Well it's a story that's become perhaps all
too familiar these days, a workplace tragedy that ended in gunfire and
death. In this case, seven deaths of men between the ages of 33 and 54
all whom may have worked closely with their alleged killer.
It started as a normal day at the Xerox service
center in Iwilei, one that quickly turned tragic. At 8:10 a.m.,
technician Byran Uyesugi arrived at work armed with a handgun.
"He entered the building, proceeded to the second
floor, and fired several shots in two separate rooms. Seven male
employees were found dead at the scene," said the police in their
The evidence indicates Uyesugi went on a shooting
spree as police evidence technicians found two 9mm ammunition shell
casings. Considering the number of shots, it's possible that Uyesugi
emptied his gun and reloaded to continue his rampage.
"It may be a reload if its a 9mm 15 round cartridge
then it would be a reload," said the police.
Xerox employees say the company organizes its
technicians into work teams. At least four of the victims were members
of Uyesugi's team. Other employees were loading parts in a warehouse
located in the rear of the building when they heard what sounded like
clanging metal. It didn't take long to learn those sounds were gunshots
and for the fear to set in.
Uyesugi drove away in a green company van leaving
behind the dead and questions about his motives.
"I can understand how a situation like this bring
concern to the residents. Concern to visitors here. Its very very
unfortunate," said police.
Now police must still set about the grim task of
sorting through the bodies left behind.
"It's a very sad sad situation for me and for all the
investigators that were present," said police.
We also spoke with Glenn Sexton the General Manager
of Xerox Hawaii who called this the worst tragedy in the company's
history. He declined to speculate on the alleged shooter's motives other
than to say that Xerox, whom like us, will just have to wait for the
results of the police investigation.
Xerox is offering counseling services to its
employees here and we're told that the Chief Executive Officer of the
company Rick Thoman is flying to Hawaii tonight to offer any additional
assistance to Xerox employees.
On November 2, 1999, Byron Uyesugi, a
Xerox copy repairman who believed his coworkers were plotting gainst him,
showed up at the offices of Xerox in Honolulu and hunted down seven of
In the opening statements in the Byran
Uyesugi trial City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle described murder defendant
Byran Uyesugi as a calculating, disgruntled employee out to settle a
grudge and defense attorney Rodney Ching described the gunman as sick
individual with a history of mental illness who was legally insane at
the time of the shootings.
According to Ching the rampage was the
product of a delusional mental disorder fueled by the belief that his co-workers
were spying on him and sabotaging his work. Uyesugi, Mr. Ching said,
believed for years that unseen demons stalked and tormented him, and
that the FBI and co-workers bugged his bedroom, mutilated his prized
fish, stole his woodwork and put sugar in his gas tank. Against such
odds, who can blame the man for going on a shooting spree.
In the first day of testimony in the
trial of Uyesugi coworker George Moad described his horror and disbelief
as he ran to the second floor of Xerox warehouse to see what was going
on and stumbled over the bleeding and lifeless bodies of coworkers as he
looked for a phone to call 911. "I saw bodies and I couldn't
understand, fathom," he testified. "I felt sick."
In fact Moad sued both Uyesugi and the
Xerox Corporation for the emotional distress he suffered after seeing
the carnage. Attorneys for Xerox argued that the multinational
conglomerate could not be held liable for an employee acting outside the
scope of his employment. Uyesugi's actions were "privately and
personally motivated acts of violence," said lead attorney Crystal
Rose. "Xerox didn't hire Byran Uyesugi to murder his co-workers."
According to David Gierlach, Moad's
attorney, Xerox knew before the slayings that Uyesugi had threatened to
kill co-workers, that he suffered from delusional disorder and that he
had a collection of guns. Furthermore the killing spree was motivated in
part by Uyesugi's desire to serve Xerox because he thought co-workers
were sabotaging his repair work. Xerox denied all charges and tried to
have two of the six counts against them dismissed.
During the second week of the trial of
rampage killer Byran Uyesugi a psychiatrist who treated him in 1993 said
the Xerox copy repairman suffered from deep rooted delusions. In 1993,
Uyesugi spent five days in the psychiatric ward at Castle Hospital after
he kicked in an elevator door at a customer's building. Upon evaluation,
Dr. Denis Mee-Lee found Uyesugi suffered from a major mental illness.
"Somewhat of a suspicious distrustful, what we might overall
typically call paranoid types of feelings," says Mee-Lee.
According to testimony from co-workers
Hawaian rampager Byran Uyesugi was ostracized and isolated at work. One
day he told Xerox service technician Clyde Nitta, "I'll take care
of them. I'll shoot all of them." Uyesugi one day told co-worker .
Nitta described Uyesugi as mild-mannered and quiet. But when Uyesugi
spoke of his co-workers, "he got very upset and his demeanor
changed," Nitta said.
Nitta said he thought of Uyesugi, who police
revealed owned 25 firearms at the time of the shooting, was "a
little strange" but not crazy. Russell Inaba, another repair
technician, testified he stayed home from work for a week in 1993 after
Uyesugi's boss notified him that Uyesugi made threats on his life. When
he eventually returned to work, he tried to avoid Uyesugi as much as
possible, Inaba said.
Uyesugi told the psychiatrist about co-workers
sabotaging his copiers, fellow employees posing as FBI agents and that
the government would kidnap his child if he ever had one. Despite his
condition, prosecutors argued Uyesugi knew right from wrong. "Individuals
have ability to make choices," said Mee-Lee. "And even the
most mentally disturbed individuals will usually have some understanding
of what they are doing and why they are doing it."
On June 13, 2000, a circuit court jury
found Xerox Uyesugi guilty as charged of seven first-degree murder
charges. He faces life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Sentencing was scheduled for August 8.
The jury also found Uyesgui
guilty of attempted second-degree murder for shooting and narrowly
missing Steven Matsuda in the stairwell of the Xerox building. Defense
attorneys had sought an acquittal by reason of insanity. The defense
argued that Uyesugi suffered from delusions that began about 10 years
ago in which he believed his coworkers were conspiring to discredit him.
The state argued although he suffered from a mental disorder, he knew
what he was doing what was wrong when he gunned down his seven coworkers.
The 12 jurors took less than two hours to deliberate.
Following the conviction, the XEROX
Corporation said that although they are sorry for what happened, they
accept no blame for the copier repairman's deadly rage. Alluding to how
they handled Uyesugi's worsening relationship with his co-workers, Xerox
public relations manager Terry Dillman said: "No matter what you
do, taking every precaution and taking every step, there will never be a
guarantee that something like this won't happen... We believe that Xerox
acted as responsibly and reasonably as it possibly could have at each
and every turn."
Xerox's post-verdict message did not surprise
Honolulu attorney Michael Green, who remarked: "This is called
cover your ass," Green said. "The corporate strategy is coming
out now, and I would suggest that the families seek attorneys."
On October 12, 2000, Uyesugi asked the
Oahu public defender's office to file an appeal to overturn his seven
murder convictions because he was denied a fair trial. In June, a jury
rejected defense arguments that a delusional disorder had convinced
Uyesugi that co-workers were sabotaging his career, spying on him for
the federal government and mutilating his prize goldfish that led to his
November 2, 1999, deadly workplace massacre. Uyesugi, however, still
believes he was wronged and the massacre was justified.
On July 6, 2001, The widow of one of
the seven men killed during the rampage filed suit against Uyesugi and
three Xerox executives, alleging the three knew or should have known
that Uyesugi showed violent tendencies as far back as 1993.
The suit has
been the first filed in behalf of family members of the seven killed
during the Uyesugi's workplace rampage. The suit was filed by Honolulu
attorneys Michael Green, David Gierlach and Debra Kagawa on behalf of
Merry Lynn Balatico, whose husband, Jason, was gunned down by Uyesugi
who feared he was about to be fired.
The three executives named in the
lawsuit were Glenn Sexton, vice president and general manager of Xerox
Corp.; James Hughes, identified in the suit as Western region manager of
investigations for Xerox; and Tom Trittipo, listed as Western region
manager of human resources for Xerox. The suit seeks general, special
and punitive damages, the amount of which is to be determined at trial.
Repairman Convicted in Hawaii Murders
Jury Convicts Byran Uyesugi Of Killing Seven
June 14, 2000
for less than 90 minutes, jurors in Hawaii Tuesday convicted a
former Xerox copier repairman for gunning down seven coworkers last
Byran Uyesugi's attorneys took two weeks laying
out their claim that he was legally insane when he fatally shot
seven co-workers in Hawaii's worst mass killing. Uyseugi was
convicted of first-degree murder, which includes multiple murders,
and attempted murder, for the shooting of an eighth coworker who
survived the attack.
Uuesugi showed no emotion when the verdict was
read Tuesday night, reports CBS affiliate KGMB-TV in
Honolulu. But relatives of the victims expressed mixed emotions.
"No matter what happens to him, it does not
bring my husband back," said Lorna Kanehira. "I pray that he
never knows the joy of freedom in his lifetime."
Uyesugi, 40, faces a mandatory life prison term
without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Aug. 8.
Hawaii does not have a death penalty.
"There is no acceptable reason to explain why
this happened," Xerox spokesman Terry Dillman said. "It's
shattered seven families. And it's forever changed, in a very
profound way, a very special place in the world."
Uyesugi, a 15-year Xerox employee, fired a 9 mm
semiautomatic handgun more than two dozen times at co-workers who
had gathered for a meeting to discuss his light workload. Uyesugi
surrendered to police after a five-hour armed standoff Nov. 2.
"This happened quite a while ago but it still
feels like yesterday," said Reid Kawamae, whose father, Ron, was
among those killed.
Defense attorney Jerel Fonseca never denied that
his client shot the workers but argued that Uyesugi, an avid gun
collector and tropical fish breeder, suffered from a mental illness,
either delusional disorder or paranoid schizophrenia, and did not
recognize how wrong his actions were.
"A rational mind was not in control that day,"
Fonseca said during closing arguments Tuesday. "When your
rationality is limited, your choices are limited."
Prosecutor Peter Carlisle acknowledged that
Uyesugi suffers from a serious mental illness, but contended during
the three-week trial that Uyesugi was aware his actions were wrong
and killed out of anger.
Carlisle also said Uyesugi didn't meet the
definition of legal insanity because he exercised self-control
throughout the shootings, from planning to acting to escaping.
Uyesugi even purposely chose not to shoot one co-worker who was in
the same general area as the seven victims.
After the verdict, Fonseca said, "I think he
still doesn't fully understand what he's done and when a person
doesn't understand what he's done it's hard for him to show remorse."
Xerox has been scrutinized for the way it handled
previous incidents involving Uyesugi, including death threats
against co-workers and his outbursts while servicing copy machines.
On Tuesday, the copany said it had set up a
$400,000 college scholarship fund for the victims' children.
The shootings tore through the heart of the Aloha
State, which has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation.
"I think that that was an alarming wake-up
call to everyone," Carlisle said. "I certainly thought that
we were fairly immune from it. We obviously aren't."