Mass shootings like Hawaii’s Xerox tragedy helped change police training techniques

Mass shootings like Hawaii’s Xerox tragedy helped change police training techniques

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Byran Uyesugi was a Xerox copying machine repairman who believed that his co-workers had sabotaged his work for years — and that they planned to give him more work that he didn’t want to do.

On the morning of November 2, 1999, he knew that most of those workers would be in company’s building off Nimitz Highway together.

So, armed with a 9 mm handgun, he opened fire, killing five men in a conference room and two more in an adjoining office.

[Read more: 20 years ago, a killer shattered the morning calm and changed Hawaii forever]

Because of an increase in mass shootings across the country since Uyesugi's spree, the way police train to respond to such emergencies has changed, according to Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard.

“I know it sounds kinda cold, but they’re even trained, if there’s people that are injured along the way, you bypass the injured people because your main priority is to get to that shooter,” Ballard said.

The Xerox Mass Shooting: 20 Years Later

And when it comes to preparing for mass shooting situations, police departments don't only train their own officers.

“Because of the community’s concerns, we actually have training for, you know, businesses and any other type of private entities that want training,” Ballard said. “And HPD comes out and does that training for them.”

The advice given to those in the community about how to deal with mass shooting events has changed, too.

“They would teach people to run and hide. But now, the training is like completely different,” Ballard said. “First thing is to try to avoid the person who’s shooting, obviously. And then you try to deny him access. And so for schools, you don’t want him to come into the room, so you do what you can (to) lock the doors.”

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