By Christopher Roberson
Two weeks after the untimely death of Ersilia Cataldo Matarazzo, the city was impacted by another tragedy – this one occurred more than 2,300 miles away.
Everett native Joseph Shinners, a police officer in Provo, Utah, was shot and mortally wounded on the evening of Jan. 5 in the neighboring city of Orem. Shinners was taken to Utah Valley Hospital, where he passed away later that night.
According to the Provo and Orem Police Departments, the suspect has since been identified as 40-year-old Matthew Hoover. He was injured when Shinners returned fire and is currently being detained by Orem Police. According to police, Hoover had made “threats of violence towards police officers in the recent past.” He was subsequently charged with aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, possession of a weapon by a restricted person and possession of methamphetamine.
Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria offered his condolences on social media. “I’m extremely saddened by this news and my thoughts and prayers are with the Shinners family as well as the Provo Police Department during this very difficult time,” he said in a Jan. 7 Facebook post.
Shinners, 29, had been with the Provo Police for three years and was a member of the department’s SWAT team. He was the son of retired Everett Fire Capt. John Shinners. In addition to his parents and two brothers, Shinners is survived by his wife, Kaylyn, and their toddler-age son, Logan.
As of Jan. 8, $55,493 had been raised to support Shinners’ family.
During a press conference on Jan. 6, Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi offered an emotional apology to Kaylyn. “I’m so terribly, terribly sorry,” she said.
Kaufusi also lauded the police for their steadfast bravery in face of deadly adversity. “You have chosen to live in a world that most of us could hardly fathom,” she said.
Provo Police Chief Richard Ferguson awarded Shinners a posthumous promotion to master officer. “He was the officer you would want to show up on your doorstep in your biggest crucible moment,” said Ferguson. “He was decent in every single way; he was the very best of the Provo Police Department.”
Orem Police Chief Gary Giles said his department will be conducting a comprehensive criminal investigation into the shooting. He also said a “parallel investigation” will be conducted by the Utah County Officer-Involved Shooting Protocol Team.