BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - Kentucky State Police say Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis was ambushed Saturday morning while picking debris off the roadway.
Jason Ellis Bardstown Police Department
On Sunday, Kentucky State Police held a news conference to release more information on what happened in the tragedy.
"Currently we have no suspects and that is why we are asking for the public to help," said Master Trooper Norman Chaffins.
Police say the shooting was an ambush and that Ellis was shot several times but never had time to respond or remove the gun from his holster.
"Someone planned this and someone planned to shoot somebody in that location at that exact time," Chaffins said.
Police believe Ellis' murder was premeditated because of the debris that was on Exit 34 Saturday morning. They say someone intentionally placed the debris on that stretch of roadway so that a driver would have to stop their car, get out and unknowingly become the target of the shooter.
Police are still not sure if Ellis was the intended target or if the shooter planned to shoot the first person to pick up the debris.
Officers say the fact that this act was so senseless and so random makes it that much harder to cope with the tragedy.
"An officer dying in the line of duty is tragic enough but to know that it wasn't a traffic stop or arrest that went bad but that someone actually took the time to plan it--makes it that much more painful. It makes you mad," said Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin.
With no suspects, police are asking the public to come forward with any information that can help them figure out who murdered Ellis that night and why.
Police say that Ellis was a K-9 officer who had worked for the department for seven years. He is survived by a wife and two sons.
Ellis was involved with the Nelson County Little League program and program officials released a statement about his death.
"We are devastated at the loss of our friend and coach, and are all taking it very hard. We do not feel it is appropriate to make more of a comment at this time, out of respect for his wife Amy, his children, and the law-enforcement community. We join with everyone else in asking that their privacy be respected."
Several law enforcement agencies are offering a reward worth several thousand dollars for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.
Funeral arrangements are set for 33-year-old Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis. Visitation will be held Wednesday, May 29, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Parkway Baptist Church in Bardstown. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 30, also at Parkway Baptist Church, which is located at 2580 Springfield Road.