Suspected Shooter Captured after Kentucky Trooper Killed When He Was Shot at End of High-Speed Chase

A suspected cop killer ran away on foot and has been identified as Joseph Johnson Shanks, 25, of Missouri.

UPDATE: Suspect was killed after refused to drop his weapon after a manhunt lasting several hours.

Kentucky State Police have captured the suspected gunman who shot and killed a trooper late Sunday night, according to a Lyon County Kentucky County Facebook post that simply says “Its over. Suspect in custody. Wade.”

At 12:22 a.m. Lyon County Kentucky alerted residents that they “have a very dangerous situation at this time.” They reported a shooting on Interstate 24 near mile marker 49. The active shooter was reported to have been on foot possibly with passenger or passengers that fled with him. The suspect and passengers are considered armed and dangerous. The county advised residents to keep all doors and windows locked and to call 911 for any suspicious behavior.

A statement from the Kentucky State Police released early Monday said that Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, 31, was pronounced dead at a Princeton, Ky., hospital after being shot multiple times. Ponder had been a state trooper only nine month since January 2015.

The statement said that Ponder was conducting a traffic stop on the westbound side of Interstate 24 in the western part of Kentucky at about 10:20 p.m. local time. The driver who was being stopped fled the traffic stop in his vehicle with Ponder pursuing him for approximately nine miles.

The suspect’s car abruptly stopped, which caused Ponder to crash his squad car into the vehicle. Police say the driver, identified as 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, of Missouri, got out of the car and shot at Ponder — hitting him multiple times. Bullets also struck the hood and windshield of the police squad car, according to Kentucky State Police.

Johnson-Shanks fled the scene on foot — possibly with a passenger or passengers. He was described as a black male, approximately 5’5″ tall 140 LBS and wearing dark clothing.

Interstate 24 was shut down in both directions early Monday during the manhunt.



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