Orem, UT – Provo Police Department Officer Joseph Shinners was fatally shot while attempting to apprehend a wanted fugitive on Saturday night.
Orem Police Chief Gary Giles said police received information at about 9:53 p.m. on Saturday that a wanted person who had made threats against police in the past had been spotted in the parking lot of Bed, Bath & Beyond in Orem, the Daily Herald reported.
Officer Shinners responded to the scene, located roughly 40 miles outside Salt Lake City, and attempted to take the fugitive into custody, FOX News reported.
That’s when the suspect opened fire on the officer, and Officer Shinners was shot.
Officer Shinners, 29, was transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where he died just before midnight, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Police said Officer Shinners returned fire and struck the suspect, according to the Daily Herald.
An Orem police officer also suffered a hand injury during the incident but it was not from gunfire, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Provo Police Detective Nick Dupaix said the suspect, a 40-year-old homeless man, was also transported to the hospital, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Det. Dupaix said the suspect was a wanted fugitive, but declined to say what specifically the suspect was wanted for when the incident occurred.
Police have not yet released his name.
He was being held under guard in “stable condition,” the Daily Herald reported.
“As chief of police, I’m furious, heartbroken and shocked,” Provo Police Chief Richard Ferguson told reporters at a press conference on Saturday. “To Joe’s family, I want to say that we love you, and we stand with you.”
Det. Dupaix said that Officer Shinners had been with the Provo Police Department for three years and was assigned to patrol.
“Joe Shinners was intelligent, he was honorable, he was hard-working, he was decent in every single way and he exemplified the nobility of policing,” Chief Ferguson said. “He was the very best of the Provo Police Department.”
The chief announced at the press conference that he had posthumously promoted Officer Shinners to the rank of Master Officer, FOX News reported.
Officer Shinners left behind a wife and young son.
“Shinners represents every one of us — every one of us who enjoys peace and freedom,” Chief Giles said. “And today, a little bit of that peace and freedom has eroded away.”
Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi told the fallen officer’s family that “Provo stands with you,” according to the Daily Herald.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Provo Police Master Officer Joseph Shinners, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Shinners, your life mattered.