Man Killed by Iowa Police After Homicide and Carjacking Had a ‘Hit List,’ Authorities Say

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
July 15, 2023USshare
Man Killed by Iowa Police After Homicide and Carjacking Had a ‘Hit List,’ Authorities Say
Police tape in a file photo. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

OMAHA, Neb.—Police in Omaha say they found a “hit list” at the home of a Nebraska man suspected of a homicide and carjacking before being fatally shot by police in western Iowa over the weekend.

Investigators said they found two guns in the stolen car driven by Matthew Briggs, 41. When detectives searched his home in Papillion, Nebraska, they found a list that included the name of the man who was killed as well as the names of two of Mr. Briggs’ ex-girlfriends, the Omaha Police Department said in a statement Thursday.

Omaha police did not immediately respond to a message Friday seeking details about the list.

Authorities began searching for Mr. Briggs on Saturday after reports he was carrying out a series of violent crimes, including breaking into the home of an ex-girlfriend around dawn Saturday and attacking her.

Minutes after that report, police learned that Mr. Briggs drove his car through the garage door of a home of another ex-girlfriend. The woman who lived there wasn’t home, police said, but Mr. Briggs shot at a neighbor who came over to check on him. The neighbor was unhurt, police said.

A short time later, investigators found the body of 52-year-old Steven Donsbach in his Omaha home and believe Mr. Briggs had shot him to death. Mr. Donsbach’s name was on the list found in Mr. Briggs’ home, police said.

Hours later, as police were searching for Mr. Briggs, a report came in of an armed carjacking in west Omaha by a man matching Mr. Briggs’ description. Officers later spotted the vehicle and gave chase, which crossed the Missouri River into Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Police said two officers—one from Omaha and the other from Council Bluffs—confronted Mr. Briggs after he crashed the stolen car. They shot Mr. Briggs after he pointed a gun at them, police said. Mr. Briggs was rushed to an Omaha hospital, where he died.

As with all shootings by police in Nebraska and Iowa, the officers who shot Mr. Briggs have been placed on paid leave pending an investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.