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.

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
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

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam