UPDATE 9:15AM ET: A suspect in the fatal shooting of KY Trooper is reportedly in custody at this time.
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5 Things to know about the fatal shooting of Kentucky Trooper
A Kentucky state trooper was shot and killed late Sunday following a chase with a suspect in Lyon County, The Associated Press reports.
Here’s what we know now:
1. The trooper has been identified as 31-year-old Joseph Cameron Ponder. The U.S. Navy veteran had been on the force less than a year, having just graduated from the Kentucky State Police training academy in January.
2. The incident began as a traffic stop. The AP reports that Ponder tried to pull over a driver on Interstate 24 about 10:20 p.m. Sunday. The driver reportedly fled, leading the officer on a high-speed chase. Ponder’s police cruiser eventually “made contact” with the suspect’s vehicle, according to police reports. The driver allegedly opened fire on Ponder’s car, hitting the trooper. The shooter, who fled on foot, is still on the run, authorities said.
3. Ponder died at a nearby hospital. “Trooper Ponder was transported via ambulance to the Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton, KY where he succumbed to his injuries at 11:41 P.M. CST,” Kentucky State Police wrote on their Facebook page.
4. Police have identified the suspect as 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks. Authorities describe him as a 5-foot-5 black man who weighs about 140 pounds. He was wearing dark clothing, according to Fox News.
5. Authorities have closed a portion of the interstate to search for the suspect. Early Monday, they were focused on a wooded area between the 45 and 49 mile markers along Interstate 24, KFVS reports.
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