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Police identify man in custody in connection with shooting death of Provo police officer

By Carter Williams, | Updated - Jan 7th, 2019 @ 10:42pm | Posted - Jan 7th, 2019 @ 12:41pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Police on Monday identified a man who is in custody in connection with the fatal shooting of a Provo police officer outside of a shopping center in Orem Saturday night.

Orem Police Lt. Trent Colledge said Matthew Frank Hoover, 40, remained in a hospital Monday, but his room was guarded by police. Authorities added he will be booked into Utah County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, possession of a weapon by a restricted person and possession of methamphetamine once he is released. He had two outstanding felony warrants at the time he was in police custody, police said in a Facebook post.

During a press conference Sunday, Orem Police Chief Gary Giles said Hoover was homeless but had been living in the Utah County area with friends. He added Hoover had made “threats toward police officers in the recent past.”

Colledge said on Monday Hoover had indicated he wouldn't go back to jail with his threats.

"Usually when someone says 'I'm not going back to prison,' we take that as being a substantial," Colledge said. "I wouldn't necessarily say a direct threat to officers, but, hey, that this guy is a dangerous person to us because he's made comments that he won't go back to prison."

Police attempted to apprehend Hoover on a warrant after he was spotted in a vehicle near the Bed Bath and Beyond located at 50 W. University Parkway shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday, Giles said.

Orem police believe Hoover shot Provo police officer Joseph Shinners, 29, during the arrest attempt. Shinners appeared to have also fired one round at Hoover, striking him, Giles added. Hoover was pulled out of the vehicle and taken into custody moments later.

Investigators said on Monday they don't believe any other officers fired shots during the incident.

Shinners died at a hospital shortly before midnight, Provo police Chief Rich Ferguson said. Hoover was listed in “stable condition” at a hospital Sunday, Giles said.

Court records show Hoover has a history of crime in Utah dating back two decades. His convictions include multiple felonies during that span. Most of those involved theft, forgery or drugs, records show.

Records also show a warrant was issued in Juab County for Hoover’s arrest on July 11, 2018, after he failed to report to a scheduled hearing in 4th District Court in connection with possession of a controlled substance with an intent to distribute.

Another warrant was issued in Fillmore on Oct. 5, 2018, for, after his parole officer reported that he had violated probation terms in connection with a conviction of joyriding, a third-degree felony, when he failed to show up for drug court.

Shinners was the fifth Provo police officer to have died while in the line of duty in the department’s history, and third by homicide, according to the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial. He was also the third Utah enforcement officer shot and killed on a Jan. 5 since 2010.

Ferguson said Shinners had served in the department for three years. He left behind a wife and a 1-year-old child.

Orem police will investigate Shinners’ death and the Utah County Sheriff's Officer-Involved Shooting Protocol team will investigate police use of lethal force, Giles said.

Contributing: Tania Dean, KSL TV

Editor's note: This article previously said Hoover was arrested, but he is still in the hospital and is just in police custody. That has been corrected.


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