The UVU community recently lost one of its alumni on Saturday, Jan 5. when Provo police officer Joseph Shinners died in the line of duty. 

Shinners was shot Saturday evening while attempting to apprehend a suspect at the Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot in Orem. Shinners was rushed to Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, where he eventually died from the injuries he sustained. Officer Shinners was 29 years old.

Shinners was born and raised in Boston, Mass. In junior high, he moved to Springville, Utah, where he met his wife, Kaylyn Shinners. The two were married a few years after high school and later had a baby boy named Joe.

In 2016 Shinners graduated from UVU with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in Spanish. According to many who knew Shinners, he was known for his great heart and work ethic. 

According to Norman Walters, director of the Law Enforcement Academy at UVU, Shinners always went above and beyond as a student, a friend, and a leader.

“Joseph Shinners graduated cum laude… Master Officer Shinners graduated from the UVU Law Enforcement Academy in 2016,” said Walters. “From the first time he walked into the Academy office, you could tell his heart was in the right place.”

Walters went on to tell of how Shinners rose through the ranks, and was eventually designated one of the leaders for his class. 

“As a result of his command presence, he was immediately appointed as the Leader for Class #33. This appointment proved to be the right decision, because numerous accolades were given to him during peer reviews from his fellow classmates,” said Walters. 

His peers praised him in their reviews, saying things such as, “He is the man, a great leader [and] will be a great officer,” “One of the best in the class,” “Smart, nice, athletic and trustworthy,” “Great class leader,” and that he “Seems to really care about how to help others.”

Funeral services will be held for Shinners on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 11:00 a.m. at UVU’s UCCU Event Center.

Illustration by Layton Scarbrough