Police identify suspect in shooting death of Provo officer

Local News

PROVO/OREM (ABC 4 News) – Police have identified the man accused of shooting and killing a 29-year-old Provo Police officer Saturday night.

Officials say 40-year-old Matt Frank Hoover is in custody for the shooting death of Joseph Shinners. His last known residence was in the Fillmore area, but as of lately, he had been moving around in Utah and Salt Lake Counties.

Hoover has a long rap sheet, beginning in 1997 for a felony charge for drug possession.

Since then, he had been in and out of jail or prison approximately ten times for charges including drug possession, theft, burglary, forgery, and parole violations.

As of recently, investigators received information that Hoover had been making violent threats against police.

“We had received information from a third party that they had spoken to him about not wanting to go back to prison. They felt like that insinuated he would be confrontational with police if encountered,” said Lt. Trent Colledge with Orem Police Department.

Lt. Colledge said Provo Police requested assistance from Orem Police after locating Hoover at the Bed, Bath, and Beyond at 50 W. University Parkway in Orem Saturday night.

He said preliminary investigation showed Hoover fired his weapon and struck Officer Shinners, before he returned fire and hit Hoover. No other officers fired their weapons.

“Here at the Orem Police Department, our officers are trained to shoot until the threat is eliminated. I can only assume, I wasn’t there, that with that one shot, the threat of that suspect harming other officers was eliminated and that’s why further shots weren’t fired,” said Lt. Colledge. “There have been suggestions that this is a possibly friendly fire incident and we’re pretty confident that our preliminary investigation suggests that that was absolutely not the case.”

When asked if investigators had any reason to believe that Hoover tried to lure police to his location, Lt. Colledge said no.

As of Sunday, officials said Hoover is expected to live and was being guarded at the hospital.

At the time of his arrest, police said he 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.

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