Hawaii Xerox Employee Talks About Ordeal

Thursday, November 4th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HONOLULU (AP) -- A Xerox Corp. employee heard gunshots, saw two of his co-workers collapse, and then watched the suspected gunman turn from their office door, he told police.

In all, seven Xerox employees were shot and killed in Tuesday's attack at a parts warehouse. But Randall Shin got out. His account was described in an affidavit by Officer James Vadset that was filed in court Wednesday.

Shin told police that he was working in his office on the second floor at about 8 a.m. with Ronald Kawamae and Jason Balatico when
he heard shots. When he looked up, he saw Kawamae, 54, slumped in his chair and
Balatico, 33, trying to leave the room. He heard more gunshots, then saw Balatico, who was bleeding, fall to the floor, Vadset's
affidavit said.

Shin then saw Byran Uyesugi standing in the doorway before Uyesugi turned and walked down the hall, the affidavit said. Shin said he ran out of the office and down a stairway.

The five other victims -- Ford Kanehira, 41, Peter Mark, 46, Ron Kataoka, 50, Melvin Lee, 58, and John Sakamoto, 36 -- were shot in a
conference room down the hall from the office where Shin worked. Uyesugi, 40, surrendered after a five-hour armed standoff with

The affidavit contained no mention of whether Uyesugi said anything, and it did not give any possible explanation of why Shin was spared.
Shin could not be reached today for further detail. The only person by that name in the Oahu telephone book did not immediately
return a message left on the answering machine at his house this morning.

The affidavit was filed in order to keep Uyesugi in police custody pending formal charges. His first court as likely being filed
Tuesday, the city prosecutor's office said today.
Hawaii has no death penalty. Uyesugi also could face seven second-degree murder charges without the possibility of parole if convicted.

The head of Xerox Corp. says even the best-designed policy against workplace violence might not have prevented the massacre. "We've never had experience with anything like this," said Xerox President and CEO G. Richard Thoman, who arrived here
Wednesday to help victims' families and employees cope with the tragedy. "We do have experience with employees going through problems and, by and large, our policies have worked very well with them."

Family, friends and co-workers came to the building with flower leis, turning a low front wall into a memorial for the victims. Xerox had grief counselors available nearby.

What triggered the shooting spree -- in which 20 9 mm bullets were fired -- remains a mystery. Police detectives have not
commented on what they have learned about Uyesugi's motive.

"When employees do have violent kind of behavior, we do ask them to undergo counseling," Thoman said.