Authorities ID suspect in fatal shooting of Provo police officer

Matt Frank Hoover. Photo Courtesy: Utah County Jail; Gephardt Daily

PROVO, Utah, Jan. 7, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Authorities in Utah County have released the identity of the suspect charged in the Saturday night shooting death of Provo Police Officer Joseph Shinners.

“The male suspect in police custody for the shooting that occurred on Jan. 5 is Matt Frank Hoover,” according to press release from Orem Police Department.

“He was last known to reside in the Fillmore area, but recently had been staying at various locations throughout Utah and Salt Lake Counties,” the release said.

Hoover, 40, had two outstanding felony warrants at the time of his arrest. He is now facing charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, possession of a weapon by a restricted person and possession of methamphetamine with priors.

On Sunday the Provo Police Department identified Shinners, 29, who was killed Saturday night while attempting to apprehend Hoover in the parking lot of a Bed, Bath and Beyond store at 50 W. University Parkway in Orem.

Provo Police Officer Joseph Shinners, 29, died in the line of duty on Jan. 5, 2019. Photos: Provo Police Department

Shinners was mortally wounded while he and other officers converged on the truck the suspect was sitting in just before 10 p.m.

There was an exchange of gunfire and Shinners fell to the pavement.

The three-year veteran of the force was rushed by fellow officers to the Utah Valley Hospital, where he died from his injuries a short while later.

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In an emotional press conference Sunday afternoon, a tearful Provo Police Chief Richard Ferguson praised his fallen officer.

“Joe Shinners was intelligent, he was honorable, he was hardworking,” Ferguson said. “He was decent in every single way, and he exemplified the nobility of policing. He was the very best of the Provo Police Department.”

Shinners is survived by his wife and a 1-year-old son.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued a statement Sunday on the young police officer’s death.

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Officer Shinners,” the statement said. “It is devastating to mourn yet another death among our brave and selfless police force, and my heart aches for Joseph’s wife and young son,” the statement says.

“We owe an enormous debt to the men and women in uniform who work to protect our communities, and I pray that God will bless this dear family with peace during this very difficult time.”

The flag of the United States and the flag of the State of Utah will be lowered on the day of Officer Shinners’ funeral, the governor’s office said. His funeral plans have yet to be announced.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is released.



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