Missouri man accused of murdering Kentucky trooper shot and killed by police

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LYONS COUNTY, KENTUCKY-- Police say a Florissant man accused of fatally shooting a Kentucky trooper has been shot and killed after an hours-long manhunt.

Trooper Jay Thomas, a state police spokesman, says 25-year-old Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Missouri was shot by police Monday morning when he refused to drop his weapon. He died at a hospital.

Authorities say 31-year-old trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was conducting a traffic stop Sunday night when the driver fled. After a chase, the suspect stopped his car abruptly and fired several shots into Ponder's cruiser. He died later at a hospital.

Police had said Johnson-Shanks fled on foot. Numerous law enforcement agencies had been aiding in the search, using helicopters and dogs in the rural, wooded area.

Three other people, a woman and two children, in Johnson-Shanks' vehicle.  CNN reports that they are in custody.  It is not clear if they will be charged.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Johnson-Shanks had been arrested by St. Louis police in August for failure to appear. He was arrested in May for stealing lotto tickets.

A social media account that appears to be associated with Johnson-Shanks shows photos of memorial sites for Michael Brown and others killed by police. He asked, "Why is it taking so long to arrest those officers."


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