UPDATE 10:40 a.m.: The man suspected of fatally shooting Kentucky State Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, 31, was shot and killed when he refused to drop his gun, police said Monday.
The suspect, identified as Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, was 25 years old and described as a black male who's about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds.
Original story below via the Associated Press.
EDDYVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A Kentucky state trooper who had been on the force less than a year was killed in a shooting during a chase in western Kentucky and authorities were searching Monday morning for a suspect.
Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, 31, was conducting a traffic stop Sunday night around 10:20 p.m. on Interstate 24 when the driver fled, Kentucky State Police said in a news release.
This undated photo provided by the Kentucky State Police shows Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder. Ponder, who had been on the force less than a year was killed, late Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in a shooting during a car chase on Interstate 24, in Kentucky. Authorities are searching for the suspect. (Courtesy of the Kentucky State Police via AP)
A chase ensued with the suspect stopping abruptly, causing the trooper's vehicle to "make contact" with the rear of the suspect's vehicle, the news release said.
The driver then fired several shots into Ponder's police cruiser, hitting him several times. Ponder was taken to a hospital in Princeton, Kentucky, where he died shortly before midnight, the release said.
The suspect, who police say fled the scene on foot, has been identified as 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Missouri. He was described as a black male who's about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds.
Ponder had graduated from the Kentucky State Police training academy in January and was stationed at the state police post in Mayfield, the news release said.
State police said numerous law enforcement agencies, as well as helicopters and dogs were being used to help with search efforts in the rural, wooded area that has homes scattered about. Trooper Jay Thomas said there are numerous vacant summer homes in the area.
"We have a massive search going on right now with multiple agencies trying to locate the shooter," Thomas said.
Police closed a 9-mile section of the interstate while the search was being conducted.
Thomas said people who live in the area should watch for anything suspicious and call police immediately if they see the suspect.
"He is armed and dangerous," Thomas said.
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