Man Who Allegedly Shot and Killed Kentucky State Trooper is Arrested

KY State Trooper Joseph  Cameron Ponder / Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks
KY State Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder / Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks

The suspect in the fatal shooting of a Kentucky State Police trooper is in custody, said Judge Executive Wade White of Lyon County, Ky.

Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, 25, of Missouri, was wanted after his alleged involvement in a high-speed chase and killing of state trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder.

Ponder, of Rineyville, Ky., stopped a vehicle on Interstate 24 on Sunday around 11:30 p.m. Eastern, when the driver fled causing a police chase.

The chase ended about 10 miles later after the suspect stopped abruptly causing the trooper’s cruiser to “make contact” with the rear of the suspect’s vehicle, the police said in a statement posted on the police agency’s Facebook page. According to Kentucky State Police, several shots were fired at Ponder’s cruiser striking the car and Ponder multiple times.

Ponder was taken to a hospital in Princeton, Ky., where he died.

The suspect fled the scene on foot.

Ponder has only been on the force less than a year. He graduated from the Kentucky State Police training academy in January. He was assigned to a state police post in Mayfield, Ky.

Kelly Ponder posted on the Kentucky State Police Facebook, “My brother was the best man in the world and did not deserve what happened to him.” Her Facebook profile indicates she lives in Elizabethtown, Ky.

Kentucky State Police said the shooting and chase happened along I-24 extending from the Eddy Creek area to around Bells Creek.

SOURCE: Kim D. Kolarik
The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal

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