Suspect in KSP trooper killing shot dead

Published: Sep. 14, 2015 at 8:08 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2015 at 8:15 AM EDT
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A KSP trooper was shot and killed Sunday night in Lyon County. (Source: KFVS12 Giacomo Luca)
A KSP trooper was shot and killed Sunday night in Lyon County. (Source: KFVS12 Giacomo Luca)
Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was shot and killed during a chase on I-24. (Source: Kentucky...
Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was shot and killed during a chase on I-24. (Source: Kentucky State Police)

LYON COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - The man accused of shooting and killing a Kentucky State Police trooper on Sunday night was shot and killed while being apprehended.

KSP Trooper Jay Thomas said in a press conference that Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks was located in a wooded area in Lyon County at about 7 a.m. (EST). He pointed a gun at troopers and refused to put it down. He was shot by a special response team.

Johnson-Shanks was taken to an area hospital where he later died from his injuries.

[UPDATE: Former coach of slain KSP trooper remembers 'fantastic person']

Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was shot and killed late Sunday night, during a high-speed chase on Interstate 24.

Kentucky State Police said Ponder stopped a vehicle near the 58 mile marker on Interstate 24 at about 10:20 p.m. During the traffic stop, the driver took off.

Ponder chased the driver for about nine miles until the driver slammed on his brakes, causing the trooper to crash into his vehicle.

[OTHER NEWS: Surveillance video shows Portland man beaten, robbed]

KSP said Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks fired several shots into the trooper's cruiser.

Ponder was taken to Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton, where he died about an hour later.

The search focused on a wooded area along I-24 extending from Eddy Creek to Bells Creek in southern Lyon County.

Troopers have closed all lanes of I-24 between the 45 and 56 mile markers while they search for a suspect who fled the scene.

Traffic is being routed to KY 93 between the KY 293 Eddyville-Princeton Exit 45 Interchange and the KY 193 Cadiz-Princeton Exit 56 Interchange.

Trooper Ponder, 31, was a native of Rineyville, KY.  Upon graduation from the KSP Training Academy in January 2015, he was stationed at Post 1, Mayfield and assigned to Trigg County.

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