Trooper Joseph Ponder was shot and killed after conducting a vehicle stop.
Trooper Ponder was on patrol when he observed a vehicle commit a traffic violation. He conducted a vehicle stop on Interstate 24, in the western part of Kentucky. The vehicle fled during the stop, leading Trooper Ponder on a nine-mile pursuit. During the chase, the suspect abruptly stopped his vehicle, causing Trooper Ponder to crash into the vehicle. The suspect then exited his vehicle and opened fire, killing Trooper Ponder.
The suspect fled the scene on foot. He was apprehended after a large overnight manhunt.
Trooper Ponder had served with the Kentucky State Police for nine months, having graduated the academy in January 2015. He had previously served with the United States Navy.
Trooper Ponder was assigned to the Mayfield Station.