Suspect posted on Snapchat after trooper's death

Posted at 12:35 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 12:35:17-04

EDDYVILLE, Ky. – The man, whom police said shot and killed a Kentucky State Police trooper, appeared to have posted a Snapchat video after the crime saying he did something he would regret.

Officials with KSP said 25-year-old Joseph Johnson-Shanks, of Missouri, was shot and killed after he was found in a secluded, wooded area not far from Interstate 24. He was shot after police said he refused to lower his weapon.  

Johnson-Shanks was taken to Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton where he died shortly before 8:30 a.m. 

Yet, a video that has been circulating online showed what was believed to be Johnson-Shanks last message. In the Snapchat video, he said, "If I don't see anybody no more, I love all yall. I did something I didn't mean to. Imma regret it."

He was wanted by police in the fatal shooting of Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, Sunday night. Ponder was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Lyon County.

Officials said Ponder pulled him over for speeding at 103 miles per hour around 10:20 p.m. at mile marker 58.

At the time of the incident, Johnson-Shanks also had two women and two small children in the car with him. One was two years old, while the other was five. Their relationship to Shanks was unknown, but one of the women was his neice, 18-year-old Ambrea R. J. Shanks. She was also later arrested.

Police said once Ponder made the traffic stop, he found that Johnson-Shanks' license had been suspended. Neither women in the car had a license with them; so Trooper Ponder, was going to put them all up in a hotel for the night, allowing them time to have someone pick them up.

While Ponder was making those arrangements, Johnson-Shanks fled the scene. A brief chase ensued. They said it wasn't until about 10:50 p.m. that he abruptly stopped the car around the 49 mile marker. 

Officials said the stop forced Ponder to hit the suspect's car. That's when Shanks leaned out of the driver's side window and fired several shots that hit the cruiser and Ponder himsself.

Johnson-Shanks ran away on foot, causing a mult-agent manhunt.

Ponder was rushed to Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton. He died from his injuries shortly after 11:30 p.m. 

The 31-year-old had been on the force since January 2015. 

Ponder, a native of of Rineyville, was also a U.S. Navy veteran. He was assigned to Trigg County and described by KSP Trooper Jay Thomas as an "excellent trooper."

"We face dangers everyday that we put our uniform on, go out and protect the public. It's just part of our job," Trooper Thomas said. "We know the risks that are out there and we accept those risks." 

State police searched for Johnson-Shanks near Lake Barkley in Cadiz. The manhunt forced the interstate to be shut down in both directions as the investigation continues. 

Officials said the interstate was closed between mile markers 45 and 56 in Lyon and Caldwell counties until 2 p.m.

A team of three KSP lieutenants are investigating the case. One is from the KSP Post 1, which Ponder was part of, and the two other lieutenants are from two separate KSP posts.

Both children were taken into the care of state police. Another adult is also being questioned in connection to the shooting.

Johnson-Shanks' niece, 18-year-old Ambrea R.J. Shanks, was arrested and charged with Hindering Prosecution or Apprehension 1st Degree.