A man suspected of killing a Kentucky trooper was shot and killed by state police early Monday morning, police confirmed to FoxNews.com.
Authorities said 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, of Missouri, was located in a remote rural area near I-24 around 7 a.m., following an all-night manhunt. Johnson-Shanks was armed with a handgun and did not comply with several commands to drop his weapon, according to Sgt. Mike Webb.
“That gave the trooper closest to him no choice but to fire his agency-issued weapon, striking him multiple times,” Webb said.
Johnson-Shanks was arrested while police waited for EMS at the scene and he died from his injuries at a local hospital at 8:23 a.m. Webb said he wasn’t aware of any statements Johnson-Shanks may have made prior to being shot.
A statement released early Monday said that Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, 31, was pronounced dead at a Princeton, Ky., hospital after being shot multiple times late Sunday night. Ponder had been a state trooper since January of this year.
The statement said that Ponder was conducting a traffic stop Sunday on the westbound side of Interstate 24 in the western part of the state at about 10:20 p.m. local time. The statement said that the driver who was being stopped took off from the scene, with Ponder pursuing him for approximately nine miles.
At that point, according to the statement, the suspect’s car abruptly stopped, causing Ponder to crash his car into the vehicle. Police say the driver, Johnson-Shanks, got out of the car and started shooting at Ponder, hitting him multiple times. Bullets also struck the hood and windshield of the police cruiser, authorities said.
After the shooting, authorities said that Johnson-Shanks fled the scene on foot and was considered armed and dangerous. Interstate 24 was shut down in both directions early Monday to assist in the search.
“Pray for our guys that are out here,” Kentucky County Executive Wade White told reporters, according to KVFS.
Ponder, from Rineyville, was a U.S. Navy veteran who was stationed at the police post in Mayfield after graduating from the academy, KVFS reported. He reportedly had plans to move closer to home within the next year.