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‘No words to express the dismay’: Utah mourns Provo officer shot, killed by fugitive

Posted at 12:17 PM, Jan 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-07 16:47:09-05

PROVO, Utah -- Flags surround City Hall in Provo as Utah mourns the death of officer Joseph Shinners, and flags across the state are at half-staff until his funeral.

Provo Police have also planned a public candlelight vigil in Shinners' honor. That event will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. at 48 South and 300 West.

Shinners was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a fugitive behind a store in Orem Saturday night.

While few details about the encounter are available at this point, police say Shinners was killed in an exchange of gunfire with a suspect.

Gov. Gary Herbert spoke about the tragedy Monday.

"There's no words to express the dismay, and I know we've offered condolences to the family," he said. "I'll be talking to the family hopefully later today."

Herbert said this is a tragic reminder to show love to those around us.

"It just reminds us that, you know, life is dangerous. Life is short; it's unpredictable," Herbert said. "Give everybody a hug today that you love, and even to those you don't love."

He also expressed his gratitude for those who put themselves at risk for their community.

"We certainly appreciate those men and women in uniform who go out there, and every day go out the door, to serve and protect and know that they may not be coming home," he said.

Investigators with the Orem Police Department are handling the investigation, and authorities are expected to release the name of the suspect later Monday.

Officer Shinners car has been covered in mementos from well wishers, and a covering has gone up Monday due to the inclement weather. The memorial includes stuffed animals, notes and a couple of hockey sticks.

The Provo Police Department announced Monday that funeral services for Shinners will be held on Saturday, January 12 at 11 a.m. The services will be held at the Utah Valley University UCCU Event Center on 800 W. University Parkway in Orem.

A memorial fund for Shinners' family has been set up and can be found here.