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Additional details released after Provo Police officer shot, killed in line of duty

Posted at 3:17 PM, Jan 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-06 23:06:18-05

OREM, Utah -- Police said a suspect could face charges of aggravated murder of a police officer after 29-year-old Provo Police Officer Joseph Shinners was shot and killed in the line of duty Saturday night.

The Orem Police Department's Chief of Police Gary Giles said in a press conference that at 9:53 p.m. Saturday, officers received information that a wanted fugitive who had been making threats of violence toward police officers was parked near a Bed Bath & Beyond in Orem on 50 W. University Parkway.

Both Provo and Orem police officers located the suspect's vehicle, and "were attempting to quickly and tactfully take him into custody," Giles said.

While attempting to arrest the suspect Giles stated that Officer Shinners was shot. It appeared that Shinners was able to fire at the suspect, hitting him at least once.

Giles said his department would be handling the criminal investigation into Shinner's death because the incident occurred in Orem City limits.

"This is a very fresh and active investigation," Giles said. "There are going to be a lot of [questions] that we will be unable to release right now."

Giles said the name of the suspect would not be released Sunday, but he identified the individual as a 40-year-old male who was recently known to be either homeless or staying with friends in the Orem and Provo areas.

The suspect was in custody at a local hospital, and appeared to be in stable condition, Giles stated.

The suspect could face multiple charges for the shooting death of Shinners, including the possibility of aggravated murder of a police officer, according to Giles.

In addition to the criminal investigation made by the Orem Police Department into the shooting, Giles said a parallel investigation would be conducted by the Utah County Officer-involved Shooting Protocol Team.

Giles said Orem officers and police agencies stand behind the Provo Police Department in this time of grieving.

"We stand united with you," Giles said. "Political boundaries of a city do not take away the hurt or the pain."