SAN JOSE, California — A San Jose police officer has been cleared of prison legal responsibility for fatally capturing a person who on Valentine’s Day led police on a violent gunshot-filled chase, hijacked a UPS truck with its driver, and later, carrying a shotgun, ran towards officers and bystanders in a last-ditch effort to flee, in keeping with prosecutors.
Mark Morasky, 33, of Saratoga, was shot and killed the night of Feb. 14 at North First Road and Trimble Highway, after a frenetic sequence that started when he and an alleged confederate tried to evade a visitors cease on the Chenoweth light-rail station in South San Jose. Officer Nicholas Bronte, with 13 years as a law-enforcement officer — the final two years with SJPD — fired a single shot at Morasky from his police-issued rifle, as Morasky was attempting to cross a rain-slicked parking zone.
“Regardless of repeated directions by officers and deputies to Morasky asking for his peaceable give up, Morasky opted to try to breach the perimeter armed with a loaded shotgun,” Santa Clara County Supervising Deputy District Lawyer Miguel Valdovinos wrote in his workplace’s formal report on the capturing. “Officer Bronte really and fairly believed that he wanted to make use of lethal pressure to guard himself and others.”
The DA’s workplace additionally launched video excerpts from police physique cameras and from a police helicopter that was current as a lot of the occasion unfolded. The pictures largely verify police accounts given on the time of the incident.
Round 5 p.m. on Feb. 14, Morasky and an alleged confederate, Joanna Mae Macy-Rodgers, fled the parking zone of the Chynoweth light-rail station in South San Jose to keep away from plainclothes transit officers with the Sheriff’s Workplace, who had approached the pair’s black SUV to difficulty a quotation for unlawful parking.
In the course of the preliminary pursuit on metropolis streets and ultimately onto highways 85 and 87, police say Macy-Rodgers fired as soon as at a Sheriff’s minivan after which three extra instances on the minivan and different law-enforcement automobiles, hitting certainly one of them, in keeping with authorities.
In the course of the chase, Deputy Devin Tallerico reported into his police radio, “They’re capturing at us” and “capturing at us once more,” in keeping with a broadcast transcript within the DA report.
The 2 suspects drove to Communications Hill, approached UPS driver Mitchell Ellerd at gunpoint, and compelled him to drive them away from the positioning, authorities stated.
Ellerd informed investigators, and later in a media interview, that he tried to leap out of the truck however that Morasky had held onto Ellerd’s seat belt, stopping him from escaping. Ellerd additionally stated that he saved the truck’s pace to about 50 mph so pursuing police might preserve tempo, telling his captors that the truck had a regulating gadget that prevented it from going quicker. He additionally acknowledged that he purposely drove over street spikes laid throughout Freeway 87 by police to disable his truck.
At North First Road and West Trimble Highway the hijackers stopped, and a standoff ensued, police stated. Quickly after, Macy-Rodgers exited the truck and surrendered. In his temporary cellphone contact with police, Morasky talked about not wanting to return to jail, and stated that “he was going to die that day,” in keeping with a police report.
Morasky was on parole after serving 4 years in jail for a 2012 carjacking and two robberies in San Jose and Saratoga. These convictions gave him two “strikes” underneath the state’s three-strikes legislation, making him eligible for all times in jail had been he to be convicted for a 3rd violent or critical crime.
Ellerd stated Morasky was additionally crying and his daughter’s picture, and stated “We’re dying right now,” in keeping with the DA report. Ultimately, Ellerd stated he slowly unfastened his seat belt as he requested, once more, if he might depart, to which Morasky warned that he go “slowly.”
Simply earlier than 7 p.m., after Ellerd safely made his approach to a big police contingent that had surrounded the truck, Morasky tried to get the ustruck began once more.
Morasky “nonetheless has shotgun in his fingers nonetheless attempting to start out” the truck, a dispatcher reported. After a couple of moments, video footage exhibits him leaping out of the passenger facet, shotgun in hand, leaping over a close-by hedge and operating throughout a parking zone, the place Officer Bronte was stationed along with his rifle. A number of folks had been taking shelter within the workplace constructing behind Bronte.
Bronte fired, and Morasky fell. An post-mortem by the Santa Clara Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Workplace decided that Morasky died from a single gunshot wound to the torso.
Macy-Rodgers has been charged with carjacking, kidnapping, taking a hostage, and tried homicide of a peace officer. Her subsequent court docket date is scheduled for Nov. 18.
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