Officer Jason Ellis remembered 10 years after tragic line of duty death

The Bardstown Police Department is hosted a memorial service for Officer Jason Ellis on Thursday.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 10:25 AM EDT
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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s been ten years since Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis was murdered in an ambush on his way home from work, and his killer remains on the loose.

On Thursday, loved ones of Officer Jason Ellis, the community of Bardstown and first responders from neighboring counties came together for the somber anniversary and a memorial service.

“We continue to gather each year and honor Jason and the life he lived,” widow of Officer Jason Ellis, Amy Ellis Brown said. “I choose to focus on who he was and what he stood for. I refuse to let evilness, bitterness or anger take over our hearts and overshadow his light.”

Ellis was shot and killed on May 25, 2013 when he stopped to remove tree branches blocking his path on exit 34 on the Bluegrass Parkway in Bloomfield. It is believed the killer shot Ellis from a nearby hill.

A memorial was placed at the exit soon after his death which has remained there to this day, and in 2018, Ellis was memorialized in the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial in Covington.

Two years ago, Ellis’ mother-in-law, Kris Bratten, said Ellis became a police officer to make a difference.

“He stood between good and evil, he stood for what was right and I think more than ever today I want that to be what everyone thinks about,” Bratten said. “He stood between good and evil, and he was the sacrifice.”

More than 3,000 days have gone by since Ellis’ death, but to his friends and family, it feels like yesterday. From his impact on the Bardstown Police Dept. to coaching little league baseball, Officer Ellis’ legacy extends past his call of duty.

“Ten years later and those who truly knew and loved Jason realize he will be more than just a memory,” sister of Jason Ellis, Kelly Eastman said. “His light continues to shine. His laughter continues to ring in our ears. His humor reminds us to live life to the fullest. And his ambition to inspire change lives out every day to those who hold him in their heart.

Kentucky State Police Post 4 started an investigation into his death and is working with the FBI in the case. The community continues to search for answers in the case that would lead to some form of closure.