Kentucky State Trooper fatally shot

LYON COUNTY, Kentucky (WKRN)  – A Kentucky State Trooper was shot and killed late Sunday night just south of Eddyville, Kentucky and the search for the suspect caused a stretch of Interstate 24 to be closed until he was caught and taken into custody.

According to police, 31-year-old Trooper Joseph Ponder conducted a traffic stop just before 10:30 p.m. on Interstate 24 west, near mile marker 58, just south of Cadiz Road exit.

After speaking with Trooper Ponder, the driver fled but stopped quickly causing Trooper Ponder to rear-end the vehicle, police said.

The driver then leaned out of the car window and reportedly started firing shots at the police cruiser, hitting the hood, windshield and Trooper Ponder, multiple times. He was transported to Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton where he died just after 11:30 p.m.

The suspect, who ran away on foot, was identified as Joseph Johnson Shanks, 25, of Missouri. Troopers at the scene told News 2 he was taken into custody on Friendship Road around 7:30 a.m.

The interstate was closed in both directions from Cadiz Road to State Route 293 while officers searched for him.

Trooper Ponder was a U.S. Navy veteran and native of Rineyville, KY. He graduated from the Kentucky State Police Training Academy in January 2015.

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