A Missouri man who shot and killed a Kentucky state trooper during a traffic stop Sunday was an apparent Black Lives Matter sympathizer who protested in the days after the shooting death of Michael Brown last year and attended the 18-year-old’s funeral, social media posts show.
Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, 25, shot Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder after a high-speed chase on Interstate 24 at around 10:30 p.m. local time Sunday.
Johnson-Shanks fired into Ponder’s cruiser at the end of the 10-mile chase, striking and killing the rookie trooper.
Johnson-Shanks fled the scene but was found in a rural area Monday morning. He was shot and killed after failing to comply with officers’ commands to drop his weapon, law enforcement officials said.
Johnson-Shanks is from Florissant, Mo., a St. Louis suburb near Ferguson, where Brown was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014.
A Facebook account that appears to belong to Johnson-Shanks shows that he took part in the protests that followed the shooting. Pictures show him adopting the “hands up, don’t shoot” pose which became the rallying cry following the shooting.
Johnson-Shanks also attended Brown’s burial and a memorial service at which Al Sharpton spoke.
The Facebook account is listed under the name “Jay MileHigh.” The birthday listed on the account matches Johnson-Shanks’.
Johnson-Shanks also snapped photos of civil rights leader Al Sharpton, who rallied in Ferguson following the shooting.
Johnson-Shanks attended Brown’s burial service which was held on Aug. 25, 2014.
His Facebook account also shows pictures of Brown’s family at the service.
The account also indicates that Johnson-Shanks was an amateur tattoo artist, though not a particularly skilled one.