Kentucky state trooper killed in shooting; suspect fatally shot after manhunt

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Suspect Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Missouri, left, and Kentucky state trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder.

EDDYVILLE, Ky. — The man suspected in the shooting death of a Kentucky state trooper was shot and killed after an hours-long manhunt, police said Monday morning.

It was believed Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks was in custody after a posting by the official Lyons County Facebook page. But police said Johnson-Shanks, 25, was shot by police after he refused to drop his weapon. He died at a hospital.

Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, 31, died late Sunday at a hospital after he was shot along Interstate 24 in western Kentucky.

Police said Ponder had tried to pull over Johnson-Shanks but he took off. Ponder pursued for nine miles before both cars came to a stop and Johnson-Shanks fired several shots into Ponder’s vehicle.

Johnson-Shanks, from Missouri, then fled the scene on foot. Ponder later died at a hospital.

There were three other people — a woman and two children — in Johnson-Shanks’ car. They are in custody, but trooper Jay Thomas said he was unsure if they were going to be charged.

Ponder is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

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