LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The first Bardstown police officer killed in the line of duty in the department's 150-year history was ambushed, possibly from a hilltop, according to the Nelson County Coroner's Office.
The coroner said a 12-gauge shotgun was used to shoot K-9 Officer Jason Ellis multiple times early Saturday morning on an off-ramp leading from the Bluegrass Parkway to Highway 55 in Nelson County. Investigators said Ellis' service revolver was in its holster when he was found dead by a passerby just before 3 a.m. and that Ellis had no radio communications with dispatch in the minutes before his death.
Ellis was on his way home from work when he was killed. Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said Ellis was in uniform and driving a marked police car. Ellis' police dog was not with him.
Police have no suspects in custody. An active search continues for the person or persons responsible for Ellis' death.
"I can assure you we won't give up on this person or persons until we either have them in custody or in the front sight of one of our weapons," McCubbin said during a Saturday afternoon news conference. "I certainly hope the latter is the choice."
Ellis, a former professional baseball player with Cincinnati Reds farm teams in Sarasota, FL and Billings, MT, leaves a wife and two young sons.
Barlow Funeral Home in Bardstown is in charge of arrangements.