'That guy is amazing:' SJ police chief praises UPS driver taken hostage in fatal police shooting

Posted Feb 15 2019 04:25PM PST

Video Posted Feb 15 2019 06:04PM PST

Updated Feb 15 2019 06:10PM PST

 
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A carjacking suspect who held a United Parcel Service driver hostage was shot and killed by police after a pursuit in San Jose on Thursday evening.

 
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Mark Marosky, 33, was shot and killed by San Jose police Thursday after police chase and standoff. 

 
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Joanna Mae Macy-Rogers, 23, was arrested Thursday after a police chase and standoff. Police sais Macy-Rogers fired multiple times at police with a shotgun. 

SAN JOSE, Calif. (BCN/KTVU) - San Jose’s police chief gave new details into the events and procedures preceding an officer-involved shooting Thursday. Eddie Garcia held a news conference at police headquarters Friday afternoon and said the shooting was unfortunate, but justified.

“It didn’t end as peacefully as we would have wanted. But  will tell you know officers or civilians were injured by an armed and desperate felon,” said Garcia.

Family members have identified the man as Mark Morasky, known as "Shaggy," but the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office has not officially released his name.

Plainclothes Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies first encountered Morasky in a "suspicious" vehicle at the Ohlone/Chynoweth light rail station shortly after 5 p.m., San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia said during a news conference Friday morning.

Deputies approached him and flashed their badge, and he allegedly fled the area with a female passenger in a black SUV after recognizing them as law enforcement. 

Deputies didn't initiate a pursuit, but spotted the vehicle nearby a short while later after a search. At this time, the female suspect in the car fired at least one shot and hit the deputy's vehicle, according to Garcia. 

The two suspects led deputies on a chase and the female suspect shot at the deputy's car at least three more times, Garcia said. They later determined the SUV had an unreported stolen license plate. 

Deputies were not injured by the gunshots and didn't shoot back at the suspects, Garcia said, and lost sight of the SUV when it drove the wrong way on state Highway 87. 

San Jose police joined the pursuit after an emergency request from deputies, along with a police helicopter unit, which located the SUV exiting onto eastbound Curtner Avenue and westbound Winepol Loop.

The suspects then left the SUV in the neighborhood, encountered a UPS driver walking in the area and forced him into his truck at gunpoint, Garcia said.

The UPS driver drove the suspects north on Highway 87 and used several maneuvers to bring the pursuit to an end, said Garcia, who described the man as impossibly "calm, cool, collected."

Police watched as the driver intentionally drove over spike strips and later learned he told the suspects he was unable to drive faster than 50 mph due to restrictions on his vehicle. The pursuit remained a low-speed chase throughout, police said.

"This guy is amazing. I really need to get him an application when this is done," Garcia said. "The things he did, not only to keep himself safe, but to capture a violent velon, was amazing. UPS should be proud of him as well."

With several tires disabled by the spike strips, the truck continued for miles and eventually exited the highway at Skyport Drive and North First Street. 

The woman in the vehicle self-surrendered to police and Morasky allowed the UPS driver to exit shortly after that, Garcia said.

Hostage negotiators, police and deputies called the suspect and tried to get him to surrender, but at about 6:59 p.m., he drove the truck forward and was stopped by two armored vehicles

He then fled the truck on foot into a nearby parking lot carrying a loaded shotgun toward civilians and law enforcement, where a police officer shot him at least one time. He died at the scene due to his injuries despite lifesaving efforts, Garcia said. No one else was injured.

Friends and family members said on social media that they tried and failed to get Morasky to safely surrender. One woman said she regretted allowing police to talk her into hanging up the phone, and that Morasky would still be alive if she hadn't.

Garcia said during the news conference that he couldn't confirm Morasky's friend's attempts, but said Morasky did not make use of several opportunities to drop his weapon, and called an armed standoff a "peculiar" way to surrender. 

"He was crying, he wanted us to call dispatch and tell them to back up and give him time," said Amanda Bazzani, a friend of Marosky’s, at the time of the loss of life. But Chief Garcia countered at his news conference, “He had every opportunity to surrender peacefully, and he chose not to.”

The female suspect, 23-year-old Joanna Mae Macy-Rogers of San Jose, was booked into Santa Clara County jail and will face charges of attempted murder of a police officer, carjacking, kidnapping and shooting at an occupied vehicle. 

The 12-year veteran officer who shot Morasky was placed on routine paid administrative leave and multiple agencies, including police internal affairs, the District Attorney's Office and the Independent Police Auditor are investigating the police shooting. His body-worn camera was functioning at the time of the shooting, and the footage will be released when the investigation is completed.

"It's another example that nothing is routine on this job," Garcia said, thanking deputies and the UPS driver. "Going out to give someone a parking ticket ... to be later on fired on four separate times. They stayed in the fight until the very end. They make every law enforcement officer proud."

KTVU contributed to this report. 

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