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Authorities capture suspect after Kentucky trooper fatally shot during high-speed chase

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Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder (left); Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks (right)

LYON COUNTY, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015)– A Kentucky State Police trooper has died after he was shot while pursuing a suspect.


Trooper Ponder

It happened during a high speed chase late Sunday night on Interstate 24 in Lyon County, Kentucky. Officials say Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, 31, conducted a traffic stop around 11:20 p.m. The suspect fled the scene and a pursuit ensued. KSP officials said the suspect abruptly stopped his vehicle, causing Ponder’s police cruiser to crash into the rear. The driver of the suspect’s vehicle then fired several shots into the police cruiser, striking the hood and windshield of Ponder’s vehicle multiple times.

Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks

Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks

Authorities searched for the suspect, who was identified as 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Missouri, for several hours.  Details of his arrest are unknown at this time. Lyon County, Kentucky’s official Facebook page confirmed Johnson-Shanks was taken into custody.

Trooper Ponder was from Rineyville, Ky. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and began working for KSP in January.


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