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I decided to give them [Xerox] a reason to fire me.
Uyesugi

Byran Koji Uyesugi is a Hawaiian mass murderer and workplace shooter who perpetrated the November 2, 1999 Xerox murders, in which he murdered seven people and wounded one at the Xerox Corporation building. He eventually surrendered to police after a stand-off.

History

Background

Born sometime in 1959, Uyesugi had an affinity for firearms. Attending Roosevelt High School, Uyesugi became a member of his high school's rifle team and its Army JROTC chapter. At some point after graduating high school in 1977, Uyesugi crashed his father's car while driving home from a graduation party. He suffered a head injury from the accident and, according to his brother Dennis, was never the same afterward. Uyesugi also married a woman and had a daughter with her, born on 1996. Known for his short temper and withdrawn nature, he had numerous hobbies, including collecting and breeding rare goldfish and koi. By the time he committed the Xerox massacre, Uyesugi had as many as twenty-five guns registered in his name, the oldest dating back to 1982. In 1984, Uyesugi began working for Xerox as a service technician in a work-group. He immediately stirred up problems with his work-group, accusing them of harassing him and tampering with the machines he would use, and his anger was difficult to contain. It was alleged that the work-group also left Uyesugi out, leaving him more isolated and withdrawn. Uyesugi's anger eventually escalated into making death threats against coworkers. In 1993, after he kicked an elevator door and threatened his supervisor, Uyesugi underwent psychiatric evaluation and anger management. Sometime before the shootings, Xerox replaced a photocopier Uyesugi frequently repaired and he began resisting knowledge of the new model under the fear he couldn't keep up with its demands. The day before the massacre, Uyesugi 's manager forced him to undertake the training. At that point, he snapped.

The Xerox murders and conviction

A map denoting the locations of the site of the massacre, Uyesugi 's residence, and the house where he was arrested.

On November 2, 1999, shortly after 8:00 a.m., Uyesugi brought a loaded 9mm semiautomatic pistol and two extra magazines of ammunition at the Xerox office building he worked at; eleven people were present at the time. Briefly chatting with an employee on the first floor, he then went to the office's second floor, where he shot and killed employees Ron Kawamae and Jason Balatico in a tech rep/computer office, but spared Randal Shin. Uyesugi then entered a conference room, where a team meeting was taking place, and, after allegedly waving goodbye at the employees inside, continued shooting; all five present at the meeting, including the supervisor Melvin Lee, were fatally shot. After trying to kill Steve Matsuda at a stairway, Uyesugi fled in a company van and eluded arriving police officers. After being on the run for approximately two hours, Uyesugi was spotted in the getaway vehicle by a jogger in the upscale Makiki Heights neighborhood at 9:45 a.m. The jogger notified police, who arrived, cordoned a half-mile-wide area around the van to prevent any civilian casualties from a possible shootout, and engaged in a standoff with Uyesugi. Dennis Uyesugi was enlisted to help authorities talk his brother down; the ploy was successful and Uyesugi surrendered.

During a search at Uyesugi's home, police discovered his collection of firearms. In August of 2000, Uyesugi was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was also ordered to pay $70,000 to the families of his victims.

Modus Operandi

The 9mm Glock 17 semiautomatic pistol used by Uyesugi during the massacre.

During the Xerox workplace massacre, Uyesugi shot all of his victims with a 9mm Glock 17 semiautomatic pistol. He used high-velocity, hollow-point bullets, which cause higher tissue damage upon entering the body. The victims were all co-workers of his.

Known Victims

The fatalities of the Xerox massacre.

The following were all attacked in the November 2, 1999 Xerox murders.

  • The tech rep/computer office shootings:
    • Ronald Kawamae, 54 (shot in the head)
    • Jason Balatico, 33 (shot five times)
  • The conference room massacre:
    • Ronald Kataoka, 50 (shot four times)
    • Peter Mark, 46 (shot twice)
    • Melvin Lee, 58 (the supervisor; shot four times)
    • John Sakamoto, 36 (shot four times)
    • Ford Kanehira, 41 (shot five times)
  • The stairway shooting: Steve Matsuda, 55 (attempted; shot at, but missed)

On Criminal Minds

  • Season Ten
    • "Fate" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Uyesugi appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Ellen Connell - Both are spree killers who were involved in car accidents that left them with mental damage, had severe anger issues, were married and had a daughter, had poor relationships with their co-workers (who they later targeted during their sprees, though Connell also killed unrelated victims), killed their victims with a weapon (a pistol in Uyesugi's case, a knife in Connell's), and had family members involved in their apprehensions in some way (Uyesugi was talked down by his brother, while Connell held her daughter at knifepoint).
  • Novels
    • Killer Profile - Uyesugi was mentioned as one of the rampage killers covered in Max Ryan's book Serial Killers and Mass Murderers: Profiling Why They Kill, which was used as a basis for the unsub's copycat killings. It is unknown if he was actually planning to copy Uyesugi, as well as how he would actually escape from the scene.

Sources

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