Suspect in Kentucky trooper's shooting is shot and killed
EDDYVILLE, KY- Police say the man accused of fatally shooting a Kentucky trooper has been shot and killed after an hours-long manhunt.
Trooper Jay Thomas, a state police spokesman, says 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Missouri was shot by police Monday morning when he refused to drop his weapon. He died at a hospital.
In a news release, Kentucky State Police say 31-year-old trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was conducting a traffic stop Sunday night around 10:20 p.m. on Interstate 24 when the driver fled.
The news release says a chase ensued with the suspect stopping abruptly, causing the trooper's vehicle to "make contact" with the rear of the suspect's vehicle.
Authorities say the driver then fired several shots into Ponder's police cruiser, hitting him several times. Ponder was taken to a hospital in Princeton, Kentucky, where he died.
Police had said Johnson-Shanks fled on foot. Numerous law enforcement agencies had been aiding in the search, using helicopters and dogs in the rural, wooded area.
Gov. Steve Beshear says the fatal shooting of a Kentucky State Police trooper is a "tragic reminder of the risks that our law enforcement officers face every day."
Beshear said people should remember not just how Ponder died, but how he lived: "his selfless service to others, and his willingness to give his life for that commitment."
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