Honolulu killer was the loner from Easy Street

MAYBE HE was worried about getting fired from his job as a photocopier repairman. Maybe he was upset at the cats eating his prized goldfish.

Whatever motivated Byran Uyesugi to walk into his office at the Xerox company on the outskirts of Honolulu and shoot seven colleagues dead, his actions have turned him into the latest mass-murderer to stalk the American workplace.

To compound the sense of shock, it happened in Hawaii - a place where, according to popular wisdom, things like that simply don't happen. "This shows violence can permeate even here in paradise," said Jeremy Harris, Mayor of Honolulu. "This kind of violence permeates our whole culture."

Uyesugi gave himself up on Tuesday afternoon after a five-hour stand- off with police at the Hawaii Nature Center on a hill above the capital. Having sat in the company van in which he made his getaway, surrounded by police Swat teams pleading with him through bullhorns, the 40-year- old got out, hands in the air, walked around to the back of the vehicle and allowed himself to be handcuffed and taken away.

Yesterday the public prosecutor was drawing up charges of first-degree murder.

As more details emerged, friends, colleagues and witnesses said how struck they were by the gunman's calm.

On his way into the Xerox building, just after 8am, Uyesugi stopped to wish a co-worker good morning and good luck. Entering a second-floor office, he shot a colleague in the back of the head while he was hunched over a computer terminal. A second colleague put up a struggle before being shot dead.

A third man thought he was witnessing a Hallowe'en prank until he too was fired at. This time the bullet from Uyesugi's 9mm pistol missed.

When someone in the conference room walked out to make a phone call, leaving the door open, Uyesugi sneaked in and shot five people dead at close range. Four were Xerox colleagues, the fifth a visiting executive from IBM.

All seven victims were men, ranging in age from 33 to 58, and several of them had young children.

The gunman appears to have said little or nothing and was "very calm and collected" as he left the building, according to a Xerox employee, Edith Nakamara. He waved goodbye to an acquaintance before hopping into a company van and driving off.

A similar calm characterised his life at home on Easy Street, in the Nuuanu neighbourhood, where he had lived all his life with his father and brother. Aside from his goldfish and koi, which he kept in tanks in the garden, he made furniture and was always doing household tasks, said neighbours.

His past offered just a few clues on what he was capable of - a passion for firearms, including a stint on his high- school rifle team, a drink- driving conviction, an anger-management course mandated after he kicked in some lift doors at work a few years ago. He had 17 firearms registered in his name.

An employee at the State Capitol building, where he repaired photocopiers, said he had been showing signs of stress but didn't want to talk about it. Co-workers suggested he might have been about to be dismissed, but nobody could confirm this. Hiroyuki Uyesugi, the gunman's father, said: "We just don't talk about those things. We don't talk about work." Mr Uyesugi also said he wished his son had shot himself.

With shooting rampages in the workplace becoming increasingly common in the United States - there have been at least four such mass-murders in the past year - sociologists and management experts have tried to come to grips with the causes that move employees to crack and turn to bursts of senseless violence.

There were 700 workplace homicides in the US in last year,making murder the second-biggest cause of work-related deaths after car accidents. Most of these, however, are the result of robberies and assaults committed by outsiders; a little over 60 were the result of "office rage".

"What happened in Hawaii is tragic, but it is also atypical," said Kristin Accipter of the Society for Human Resource Management, which conducted one of the recent surveys.

In Hawaii, where the murder rate is markedly lower than in continental USA - there were 17 murders last year in Honolulu, a city of 1 million - the soul-searching went deeper than the statistics.

Hawaii has a reputation as a holiday paradise, but it also has a history of violent outbursts: in 1991 a jilted husband killed his wife's parents, wounded his wife and son and firebombed the family of his wife's lover, causing three more deaths.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living