UTAH COUNTY (ABC 4 News) – Matt Frank Hoover, the suspect involved in the shooting of Provo Police Officer Joseph Shinners, is still in the hospital under guard and is expected to be for the next couple of days.
“We don’t know for sure how much longer he’ll be there, but he’s in stable condition,” said Lt. Trent Collidge of Orem Police Department. “Once he’s released, that’s when the charging process will likely occur.”
On Tuesday, detectives asked for the public’s help in locating additional witnesses to the shooting Saturday night at the Bed, Bath, and Beyond parking lot in Orem.
Provo Police Department held a candlelight vigil for Officer Shinners Wednesday night and confirmed funeral arrangements for this upcoming Saturday – all while Orem Police work on the criminal side of the shooting investigation.
“A lot of our officers were there when it happened,” said Lt. Collidge. “It’s still somber here. We’re just trying to get through it. Although it wasn’t our officers killed in the line of duty, we felt very close to Officer Shinners and Provo Police Department. Many of us worked with him.”
Both departments have provided mental health resources to officers who were impacted by the shooting.
As for the passenger in Hoover’s car, investigators said they are withholding their name because they are being treated as a witness. The passenger is not in custody and is currently not facing any charges.
Many questions still remain for the public in the investigation, such as whether Officer Shinners was wearing a vest at the time of the shooting or where he was shot on his body.
“We just want to conduct a thorough investigation. We need to keep information that is pertinent to the investigation somewhat confidential until the time is right,” said Lt. Collidge. “Or just in case that information is not to be released in the future.”
At the time of his arrest, police said Hoover had two outstanding felony warrants. Hoover is facing charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, possession of a weapon by a restricted person, and possession of methamphetamine with priors.
Investigators said Hoover was known to have made violent threats against police and expressed he would do whatever it takes to not go back to prison. Ironically, he now faces very serious charges.
“It’s a first degree capital offense and so it’s a possibility they could seek the death penalty if the prosecutors determine that’s what they want to do,” said Lt. Colledge. “It could result in death or a significant prison sentence.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Orem Dispatch at 801-229-7070 and ask for Detective Locke.