A Kentucky State Police Trooper was fatally shot after a nine-mile pursuit late Sunday, sparking a manhunt. Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, 31, was killed after a driver fled from a traffic stop on Interstate 24 at 10:20 p.m. local time (11:20 p.m. ET).
“A pursuit ensued with the suspect stopping abruptly around the 49 mile marker, causing the front of Trooper Ponder’s police cruiser to make contact with the rear of the suspect vehicle,” Trooper First Class Jay Thomas said in a statement.
He added: “At this time, the driver of the suspect vehicle fired several shots into the police cruiser striking the hood, windshield and Trooper Ponder multiple times. The suspect fled the scene on foot.”
Ponder was taken to a hospital in Princeton, Kentucky, but died of his injuries at 11:41 p.m. ET (12:41 a.m. ET on Monday).
Investigators identified the suspect as Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, 25, of Missouri. Police said he should be considered armed and dangerous. Multiple agencies are assisting with the investigation.
Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White called the situation “very dangerous” in a post on the Lyon County Facebook page and he urged people to keep their doors and windows locked.
Updates to follow.