Suspect Who Allegedly Killed Kentucky State Trooper Is Shot Dead

Trooper Cameron Ponder, 31, died on late Sunday after he was fatally shot during a traffic stop


The man suspected of fatally shooting a Kentucky state trooper has been killed following an all-night manhunt, a Kentucky State Police spokeswoman tells PEOPLE.

Trooper Cameron Ponder, 31, died on late Sunday after he was fatally shot while trying to pull over Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, 25, during a traffic stop.

“After making contact with the driver, the vehicle fled from the stop,” a Kentucky state police news release read. Ponder tailed the suspect for nine miles before Johnson-Shanks “abruptly” stopped and allegedly opened fire on the rookie trooper, the statement read. Afterwards he ran off on foot, according to the statement.

He was allegedly found hiding just two miles away on Monday morning, according to the police news release. Johnson-Shanks was killed after he failed to comply with requests to drop his weapon, the news release said.

“We mourn the loss of one of our finest. Keep his family and his law enforcement family in your prayers. And thankfully the shooter of this fine young officer is dead,” Lyon County Kentucky wrote on its official Facebook page.

Three other people – a woman and two children – were riding with Johnson-Shanks when he fled. It’s unclear whether they face charges as well.

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