Candlelight vigil planned tonight at North Hardin High School to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Candlelight vigil planned tonight at North Hardin High School to honor fallen Ky. trooper

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Joseph Ponder (source: Ky. State Police) Joseph Ponder (source: Ky. State Police)
Joseph Johnson-Shanks (source: Kentucky State Police) Joseph Johnson-Shanks (source: Kentucky State Police)
Trooper Joseph Ponder poses with students from North Hardin High School. Trooper Joseph Ponder poses with students from North Hardin High School.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A candlelight vigil to honor Trooper Joseph Ponder is set for 8 o'clock tonight at the North Hardin High School football field. 

Ponder, 31, was shot and killed Sunday night at the end of a high-speed chase on I-24 in Western Kentucky.

Ponder had initially pulled over a black Dodge Avenger driven by Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks of Florissant, Missouri, for speeding on Interstate 24 near the 58 mile marker.

The suspect, Joseph Johnson-Shanks, was later found and killed by State Police. 

Ponder graduated from North Hardin High School in 2002 and continued to visit and talk with students, even as recently last month.

In the days after the tragedy there has been an outpouring of love and support via social media.

A Sheriff's has deputy organized a campaign called Blue Lights Across Hardin County. 

It encourages neighbors to keep blue lights on from dusk until dawn through Ponder's funeral Friday

There's another movement called Sea of Blue, a Facebook page organized by a woman from Texas. She's asking the public to tie a blue ribbon to their cars, antennas, mailbox, business or even a tree to show support for fallen officers. 

Kentucky State Police Rodney Brewer says these efforts in some ways help in the healing. 

"We received letters and calls and emails from all over the country and all over the world, and I think that's important to see -- particularly my agency to see -- the support we have out there in the community," Brewer said. 

Ponder, a Navy veteran, had been on the state police force less than a year. He is the third trooper to die in the line of duty for KSP in three months.

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