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.

Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
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 Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines