Xerox shooting: 7 people killed in Hawaii's worst mass shooting, 20 years ago
It's been over 20 years since the worst mass shooting in Hawaii history. A Xerox employee shot and killed seven of his colleagues.
Caller: Can I get an ambulance please, to 1200 N. Nimitz Highway, Xerox Corp.
Operator: What's wrong?
Caller: Somebody got a gun, and they shooting people up in the building.
Operator: Okay, inside the building?
Caller: Yeah, inside the building. You need to come now.
That was the first 911 call that alerted police and emergency crews about the deadly shooting.
Retired Honolulu Emergency Medical Services chief Patty Dukes took the second call.
"There was only three of us at the dispatch center at the time and amazingly we only had 2 911 calls," Dukes said. "Once we manage the calls, took care of the patients who end up being dead on arrival, it was very tense all day."
She's now teaching the next generation of dispatchers.
"You just never know when you're gonna get the worst call you've ever had. I don't usually bring up the situation but I always let them know and I keep it in the back of my head," Dukes said.
The panic didn't end after the shooting at the old Xerox building on North Nimitz Highway --
The gunman, Byran Uyesugi fled after the shooting and drove to Makiki near the Hawaii Nature Center. By mid morning, police surrounded him and after a five hour stand-off, he surrendered."
The mother of one of the victims will never forget the day she heard the news.
"That cannot be anything. So I was so shocked when my daughter in law called and then she said that Jason is not answering the phone and I told her that's okay, because he's busy. He'll call you later, but later he didn't call at all," Evelyn Balatico, mother of Jason Balatico, said.
Two decades later, she still thinks about her son everyday. But part of him, lives on.
"I have my grand children that's why. I kind of looking forward to seeing them. Hoping I can be of help to them. Because after I lost my son, it was really tragic," she said. "Why did he have to go? Why not me? I wish I could've took the bullet for him. I would've."
Uyesugi is still serving his life sentence at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona.
Since the incident, Xerox has added resources to increase safety for their employees including a yearly training on workplace violence. It sent KITV4 this statement saying:
"That was indeed a dark day for our company when we lost seven colleagues in a senseless act of violence... We are regularly reviewing and refining these and other initiatives, and our leadership team is personally involved in any situation where the safety and security of our people is in question."