Matthew David Conrad, 34 of Hammett, died after allegedly trying to carjack three vehicles, then pointing a gun at two Elmore County sheriff’s deputies, Idaho State Police said Tuesday evening.
The names of the two deputies who shot him have not been released.
Conrad was suspected of stealing a pickup, then reportedly led officers on a chase, attempted to carjack three different vehicles and pointed a firearm at the deputies, according to Idaho State Police.
No officers were injured in the incident, which escalated on Interstate 84 just west of Hammett, according to Elmore County Sheriff Rick Layher. ISP is investigating.
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“The family is extremely shocked,” said Derek Bates, Conrad’s cousin. “He was an absolute great person. We all loved him dearly.”
Elmore County Coroner Jerry Rost said he took custody of the body. An autopsy is planned for Wednesday at the Ada County Coroner’s Office.
Interstate 84 was shut down in both directions for hours while officers investigated the scene. It fully reopened as of 1:45 p.m., according to the Idaho Transportation Department.
Initially, around 8:45 a.m., a Hammett resident called dispatch to report a pickup truck had been stolen.
“The suspect was known to law enforcement,” said Teresa Baker, ISP spokeswoman. There was evidence he had stolen vehicles in the past, she said.
Online court records show Conrad had two misdemeanor cases pending for assault, leaving the scene of an accident and resisting officers, and his record shows numerous convictions since 2004. According to the Idaho Department of Correction, he was on probation for five crimes in Elmore and Ada counties, including grand theft, burglary, aggravated assault on an officer and eluding an officer.
Multiple deputies searched for Conrad on Tuesday and located him near Hammett. That started a chase that led to westbound I-84. Deputies attempted multiple maneuvers to stop the pickup; after one such attempt, the pickup went off the road and crashed through a barbed-wire fence, Baker said.
“The suspect got out on foot after the truck was disabled,” she said. “He ran across the westbound lane (and) went to the eastbound lanes.”
A semitrailer had slowed down because Conrad was near the freeway; the man then aimed a gun at the driver in an attempt to take the semi, Baker said. The driver sped off, heading east. Then the man reportedly did the same thing to the driver of a passing red car, which also sped away.
Conrad reportedly raised his gun another time, pointing it at the driver of an SUV. That driver evaded the man, turned around and got on westbound I-84. He later described the experience to deputies.
Investigators are searching for the occupants of the red car and the semi to get more information about the case, Baker said.
Deputies pursued Conrad on foot. After the SUV drove away, Conrad reportedly turned toward the two deputies and pointed his gun at them. That’s when both deputies fired their weapons, Baker said.
If you witnessed the shooting, call 208-587-2100.
The shooting comes about four days after the results of another ISP investigation into an officer-involved shooting were released. The Idaho Attorney General’s Office reviewed ISP’s findings in the shooting of Adams County rancher Jack Yantis and decided not to bring criminal charges against the deputies who shot him.