Officer Jason Ellis (Source: Bardstown Police Department)
Chief Rick McCubbin
BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - This weekend will mark three months since the murder of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis. As Kentucky State Police continue to follow all leads in the investigation, the community's support is only getting stronger and efforts to put attention on the case and to help support the officer's family are only getting bigger.
The outpouring for this weekend's event is so huge it has everyone surprised. Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said, "What happened really touched people and put a lot of anger with people."
The loss of beloved Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis is a daily gut punch.
"People want to know and we want to be able to tell them something good, but unfortunately, all that's happening now is weeding out and eliminating a lot of tips," McCubbin said of what he knows about the Kentucky State Police investigation.
Still, the public anger for a killer is what continues to fuel the effort to keep Officer Ellis' story and the KSP investigation into his May 25 murder in the news.
McCubbin said, "The community's not going to let it die out either and it's wonderful."
For the latest public effort, McCubbin can't believe the response. "The Facebook page is probably in the 150,000 to 250,000 (hits)," said one of the event's organizers Matt Schrader.
T-shirts are ready and donations are pouring in on the website for an event the Chief admits, at first he wasn't even sure what it was.
McCubbin said, "I kept getting E-mails that hey, this is really getting big, hey this is getting bigger and then finally, this is really big!"
Saturday's Officer Jason Ellis Benefit Poker Run is all about serious bikes.
"We started this thing and it blossomed," Schrader said, "And it kept growing and growing and growing."
Jim Beam got involved for the 82-mile Victory Owners biker tour, so did teams in Elizabethtown and Louisville. Toby Tours was immediately onboard.
President Jeff Toby said, "As a business owner, I'm here to say hey, we support our first responders, our police and fire and our EMT's, so it's a big deal."
So big, motorcyclists from Ohio and at least five other states are coming to Bardstown. Past bike tours topped out at 1,400 riders, this could triple that.
Schrader said, "We had some registrations from the United Kingdom the other day because they had friends over here that were law enforcement officers."
All will raise money for the Jason Ellis Memorial Fund and Schrader said just as important, "We want to keep it fresh in people's minds that they're (KSP Investigators) still out there looking for tips and asking for people to help and this just keeps the awareness going."
To register for the Poker Run or to donate to help the Ellis family, click here.
The event takes off from Joe Hill's Victory in Bardstown starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. Even though he's not a rider, Chief McCubbin will be there to say thanks to everyone involved and to help oversee the huge crowd and the traffic that's expected.