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Gunman Shot After Holding Co-Worker Hostage, Shooting Supervisor

February 7, 1996

HONOLULU (AP) _ A man upset over being laid off last year returned to his former workplace Tuesday, shot a company supervisor and held a former co-worker hostage on live television before he was fatally shot by police.

Police held their fire for six hours because the gunman, John Miranda, had a shotgun taped to his hand and to the head of the hostage, Tom McNeil.

The hostage crisis ended after Miranda told police he would shoot McNeil at the end of a 60-second countdown. When the count reached 15, McNeil grabbed the barrel of the shotgun and pushed it away, Police Chief Michael Nakamura said.

Miranda fired the shotgun twice, missing McNeil, and police opened fire on the gunman, striking him several times, the chief said.

Miranda, 28, was taken to a hospital with a chest wound, where he later died. The supervisor was reported in guarded condition and McNeil, 30, escaped the ordeal with just a few abrasions.

Guy George, a 39-year-old supervisor, was in guarded condition later Tuesday at the Queen’s Medical Center with a gunshot wound in the leg.

The crisis began shortly after 8 a.m. at Seal Master of Hawaii, a waterproofing business near Honolulu International Airport.

``Good morning guys, you remember me?″ Byron Ansai, 32, quoted Miranda as saying.

Miranda ordered Ansai use duct tape to affix the gun barrel to his hand and George’s head. Then he had him bind two other employees.

George escaped by jumping from a window and falling 15 feet to the ground, despite a gunshot wound to the leg, after removed the duct tape in order to go to the bathroom, Ansai said.

Miranda then had Ansai to tape the gun barrel to McNeil’s head. Ansai complied, and then escaped with the rest of the employees when Miranda, apparently in an effort to recover George as a hostage, went onto the building’s external stairway only to have the door close and lock him out.

The standoff then continued for six hours, during which time Miranda talked by phone with police and disc jockeys at two Honolulu radio stations. He said he had been ``stressed out″ since being laid off and admitted he had ``lost it.″

``It’s gonna end with a gun bang,″ Miranda told radio station KIKI-FM. ``I sure as hell ain’t going back to jail.″ Family members told police that he had 17 mostly minor convictions in the past 10 years and a history of drug abuse.

Police sharpshooters held their fire for hours, even as the two climbed down the steps for water and to smoke cigarettes.

In a radio interview, Miranda, who is believed to be of Hawaiian ancestry, said he believed his firing was racially motivated.

One of the hostages who was released quoted Miranda as saying the company ``was not taking care of the Hawaiians.″

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