HAMMETT — 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.
Two Elmore County deputies shot Conrad who reportedly stole a pickup, led officers on a chase, attempted to carjack three different vehicles and then pointed a firearm at the deputies, according to Idaho State Police.
Conrad died, but no officers were injured in the incident that escalated on Interstate 84 just west of Hammett, according to Elmore County Sheriff Rick Layher. Idaho State Police is investigating the case.
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.
The names of the deputies who shot him have not been released.
Interstate 84 was shut down in both directions for hours while officers investigated the scene. It had fully reopened as of 1:45 p.m., according to the Idaho Transportation Department.
Initially, around 8:45 a.m., a Hammett resident called into dispatch to report their 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.
Multiple deputies searched for Conrad. He was ultimately located near Hammett, and started a chase that led to westbound I-84. Deputies attempted multiple maneuvers to stop the pickup; after one such attempt near mile marker 110, 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; he then aimed a gun at the driver in an attempt to carjack the semi, Baker said. The driver sped off, heading east. Then Conrad did the same thing to the driver of a passing red car. That motorist also sped away, continuing east.
Conrad raised his gun another time, pointing it at the driver of a SUV. That driver evaded him, turned around and got onto westbound I-84, later describing their 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, he 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.
I-84 was closed in both directions between Hammett and Mountain Home for hours. Police diverted traffic at exit 99, just east of Mountain Home, and brought vehicles back on I-84 at exit 114, just east of Hammett, according to ITD.
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.