Suspect in Kentucky state trooper shooting is dead
KENTUCKY– The man suspected in the weekend shooting death of a Kentucky state trooper has been shot and killed, law enforcement said Monday.
Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks was hiding about two miles from where he shot and killed Trooper Cameron Ponder, according to Trooper Jay Thomas.
Authorities initially announced on Lyons County’s official Facebook page that Johnson-Shanks was in custody. They’ve provided little detail so far on events leading up to his death.
Ponder had tried to pull over Johnson-Shanks on Sunday but Johnson-Shanks took off. Ponder pursued for 9 miles, authorities said, and when both cars stopped on Interstate 24 in western Kentucky, Johnson-Shanks shot multiple times at the trooper. Ponder died late Sunday at a hospital.
Johnson-Shanks ran away. Not much is known about him, Thomas said, except that he was 25 and was from Florissant, Missouri.
There were three other people — a woman and two children — in Johnson-Shanks’ car, said Thomas. They are in custody, but Thomas said he was unsure if they were going to be charged.
Ponder is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.