Officer Jason Ellis (Source: Bardstown Police Department)
BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) – Law enforcement from across the state of Kentucky filled Parkway Baptist Church Wednesday for Officer Jason Ellis' visitation.
Officer Ellis, 33, was shot and killed on the Bluegrass Parkway Saturday morning. He served almost seven years on the Bardstown Police Department as the only K9 officer and it's because of that service, complete strangers also came by Wednesday to pay their respects.
"He was a super person, really nice. He was nice to everybody. You couldn't ask for a better police officer," said Sharon Vandusen. Her daughter is friends with Amy Ellis, Jason's wife.
As a resident of Bardstown, she said his death had changed what is called the most beautiful small town in America, "We're a little bit more alert I think, until they catch him."
Larry Eckhart came to town to try and put some of their minds at ease. From a small town in Illinois, Officer Jason Ellis' funeral is his 109th in seven years.
Eckhart is known as The Flag Man. He and dozens of volunteers will be lining Officer Ellis' funeral procession route with more than 2,300 flags. "He was fighting a war. Everyone of these patrolmen from the city, county and state are in a warzone and his death just proves it," explained Eckhart. "That's one reason I feel my flags are suitable here just like they are a soldier."
He too finds it hard to accept someone would lay out a piece of debris as a trap for Officer Ellis then shoot and kill him, "Anytime you lose an officer, it's bad but this one here, I just hope the person responsible gets what's coming to them."
As for finding the person who killed Officer Ellis, Kentucky State Police said leads are pouring in and detectives have been out 24 hours a day, even on the day of his visitation to follow up on them.
The reward to catch the person is at $43,000. That's $11,000 more than Tuesday evening.