[if gte mso 9]>
[if gte mso 9]>
BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - The family of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis attended a candlelight vigil Monday outside the police department where he served.
Meanwhile, Ellis's colleagues are speculating about who could be behind his brutal death. Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said he has a gut feeling that the murder is related to one of the many drug arrests Ellis made over the years.
McCubbin said investigators are combing through all of Officer Ellis's past arrests trying to pinpoint a possible suspect. Unfortunately, McCubbin said Ellis made so many arrests, narrowing the list for useful information has been challenging.
Ellis was gunned down outside his police cruiser early on the morning of May 25. Ellis was on an exit ramp 10 miles outside the Bardstown city limits on his way home from work. Investigators said the road was blocked with debris, which Ellis was trying to move when someone hiding in the brush killed him with a 12 gauge shotgun.
The murder has rocked the entire Nelson County community to its core. In fact, it was community members who came up with the idea for the Memorial Day candlelight vigil, which was attended by hundreds of people and Officer Ellis's family.
Flanked by his mother and 7-year-old brother, Ellis's 6-year-old son lit the first candle.
The assistant police chief's wife, Myra Mayes, a friend of Ellis, was in tears.
"Truly just touched my heart," Mayes said. "Very emotional."
Mike Marksbury was also in the crowd. He coached tee ball with Ellis. Marksbury's father is the former Bardstown Police Chief and the person who hired Ellis.
"It just hurts," Marksbury said. "And why anybody would do this, you just can't put your mind around. But hopefully they will bring somebody to justice."
McCubbin said his feeling that Ellis's murder is linked to a drug arrest is only a guess. McCubbin remains open to the possibility that this was a random act of violence or an assault on law enforcement in general. But McCubbin believes the chances are slim that one of those explanations will ultimately unravel this mystery.