Gunman wanted for killing Kentucky state trooper shot dead after refusing to drop weapon

Kentucky State Trooper, btb

The man accused of fatally shooting a Kentucky trooper has been shot and killed by police after refusing to drop his weapon following an hours-long manhunt.

A state police spokesman said 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Missouri was shot by police this morning and later died in hospital.

It concluded an hours-long police manhunt near a section of Interstate 24 this morning as they investigated the death of trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, 31.

Police say Mr Ponder was pursuing Johnson-Shanks before the suspect suddenly braked, causing the two vehicles to crash into one another.

Johnson-Shanks then pulled out a gun and riddled the patrol car with bullets – striking the hood, windscreen and Mr Ponder several times, it is alleged.

This morning an ambulance was seen leaving the area where police had been searching for Johnson-Shanks, though it wasn’t clear how he was apprehended, News Channel5 reported.

In a statement, police said Mr Ponder – a U.S. Navy veteran – stopped Johnson-Shanks’ vehicle on Interstate 24 late Sunday night, but after speaking to one another, the suspect fled.

Mr Ponder, originally from Rineyville, graduated from the Kentucky State Police training academy in January and was stationed at the state police post in Mayfield.

In the hours following news of his death, Kelly Ponder posted on Facebook: ‘Thank you for all the kind words.

‘My brother was the best man in the world and did not deserve what happened to him. Please pray for us, this was an enormous loss. #Heartbroken.’

State police said numerous law enforcement agencies, as well as helicopters and dogs were used to help with search efforts in the rural, wooded area.

Trooper Jay Thomas also said there are numerous vacant summer homes in the region, where police closed a 9-mile section of the interstate while the search was being conducted.

Source: The DailyMail

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