ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: UPS driver taken hostage in San Jose was covering for co-worker on vacation

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The UPS driver who would have been behind the wheel during Thursday's hijacking, police chase and deadly stand-off in San Jose spoke exclusively to ABC7 News.

A co-worker tells ABC7 News, the driver held at gunpoint was filling in for another worker who was on vacation.

RELATED: Woman charged with attempted murder in San Jose standoff, hostage situation

On Thursday afternoon, Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies and San Jose police officers were present by the dozens. They chased two armed suspects through San Jose.

According to SJPD, Joanna Mae Macy-Rogers and another suspect, who was later shot and killed by police, hijacked a UPS truck, held the driver hostage, and forced a slow police chase and standoff.

The UPS driver who was carjacked and caught in the middle was hailed as a hero by SJPD in a press conference on Friday.

"This guy is amazing. I really need to give him an application or something when this is done," Chief Eddie Garcia told reporters.

For Derek Inman, the scene was both frightening and familiar. Inman is the regular route driver who was on vacation during Thursday's ordeal. He's worked the route for the last five years.

"When I realized it was on my route, and the more I looked into it I'm like, 'Oh yeah, that's completely where I would've been,'" he explained.

ABC7 News isn't identifying the driver who was held at gunpoint, but SJPD says the man purposely drove over spike strips at Highway 87 and Taylor. They claim the driver also made sure he didn't travel more than 50 mph to help officers keep track of the UPS truck.

RELATED: UPS driver hailed as hero during wild San Jose chase

Witness Doug Bluecher took notice.

"The UPS guy was going like maybe 25 mph when he went by me," Bluecher said.

Over the phone, Inman said his co-worker's actions aren't taught to UPS drivers. Instead, Inman says courage is in the man's character.

"That's just a solid guy right there. Thinking quick. Knowing what's going on," he told ABC7 News. "What do you do? You don't have time to think. So, you have to give the guy a hand. He handled himself well, and I'm thankful that he's alright."

Authorities say UPS driver was taken hostage in an area near Curtner Avenue and Communications Hill. He drove nearly eight miles north to North First and Trimble where Sky7 caught his eventual release on camera.

The female suspect, Joanna Mae Macy-Rogers, surrendered and was arrested on-scene.

RELATED: San Jose hostage situation involving UPS truck ends, suspect shot, killed

The male suspect, identified by friends as Mark Morasky, was shot and killed after he ran from the UPS truck, toward officers with a gun in hand.

SJPD says the UPS driver's common sense, quick thinking saved lives.

A UPS spokesperson released this statement to ABC7 News:

"We appreciate the kind words from the San Jose Police Department. UPS is very proud of our driver and how he responded during yesterday's incident. We're also grateful for the members of San Jose's law enforcement community who attended to that situation."

Derek Inman added, "We show up every day. We do a hard job and the last thing you want to hear is somebody getting abducted or hurt, trying to do their job."
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