Updated: Haverhill Police to Pay Tribute to Slain Officer Shinners at Weekend Funeral

Flags outside the Haverhill police station flew at half-mast Monday in memory of fallen Utah Master Officer Joseph Shinners, the brother of Haverhill Officer Michael Shinners. (WHAV News photograph)

The line of duty death of Provo, Utah policeman Joseph Shinners has hit extra close to home for his local brothers and sisters in blue, as the 29-year-old Shinners is the brother of both a current and former Haverhill Police officer.

Detective Michael Shinners has served the Haverhill Police Department since 2008 and his brother Thomas served on the force between 2015 and 2018. A number of Haverhill officers are expected to participate in an honor guard for the slain Provo, Utah, policeman. A funeral service is planned in Orem, Utah, on Saturday morning, according to the Provo Police Department.

A three-year veteran of the Provo, Utah police force, Joseph Shinners died trying to apprehend a fugitive suspect during a shootout in Orem, Utah, his department confirmed Sunday. Shinners was able to return fire and strike the suspect at least once during the altercation south of Salt Lake City.

The slain officer “represents every one of us—every one of us who enjoys peace and freedom,” Provo Police Chief Richard Ferguson said when announcing his colleague’s death over the weekend. “Today, a little bit of that peace and freedom has eroded away.”

Haverhill paid special tribute to their fallen brother—and his local family members—in a touching social media post that expressed their “deep sadness.”

“As with the loss of every officer, his fellow officers and his family are in the thoughts of every member of the Haverhill Police Department. However, in this case we hold this officer’s family even closer in our thoughts tonight, as Officer Joseph Shinners is the brother of both a current and former officer with our department.”

“To our HPD brothers, to the entire Shinners family, and to our brothers and sisters with the Provo Police Department, you are forever in our thoughts and prayers,” Haverhill Police’s statement read.

Flags were lowered to half-staff outside the police station and City Hall. Mayor James J. Fiorentini offered his condolences.

“On behalf of the city of Haverhill, my deepest sympathies go out to the friends and family of Officer Shinners,” the mayor said Monday. “…the loss of Officer Shinners hits especially close to home. Officer Shinners is in our thoughts and prayers,” Fiorentini added.

In addition to his brother Michael and his father John Shinners—a retired Everett fire captain—the late officer leaves behind a wife and 1-year-old son.

In recognition of his service, Shinners has been posthumously promoted to the rank of master officer, his Utah department said.