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Officer gunned down while pursuing fugitive, cops say; leaves behind wife and young son

Authorities in Utah say a Provo police officer was shot and killed on duty Saturday during the pursuit of a fugitive.

According to Fox News, 29-year-old Joseph Shinners was tracking the suspect to a retail location in Orem at about 10 p.m. when the 40-year-old man shot at the officer.

During a news conference the following day, Provo Police Chief Rich Ferguson said Shinners, who had been on the force for three years, was able to fire his own weapon and strike the suspect, identified as a possible homeless person.

Both the officer and alleged fugitive were transported to an area hospital. Shinners was pronounced dead a short time later and the other man was listed in stable condition as of the latest updates available.

The officer is survived by a wife and young son.

Ferguson described the fallen officer as “the very best of the Provo Police Department” and promoted him to a master officer following his death.

“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,” the chief said.

The Salt Lake City Police Department posted a social media statement in response to the news.

“We are #Heartbroken to hear about the loss of another #Hero,” the agency tweeted. ” the officers of the @ProvoPolice, we will never forget the sacrifice your officer made to keep @provocity and the state of Utah safer. #NeverForget”

[Featured image: Joseph Shinners, Provo Police Department]