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A Bardstown police officer, Jason Scott Ellis, was shot and killed sometime before 2:40 this morning as he was on his way home from work.
Kentucky State Police officers are investigating the shooting, which happened on the Exit 34 ramp on the Blue Grass Parkway at Bloomfield Road. The officer was in uniform and was found outside his police car.
At a news conference Saturday, Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said a woman called dispatch at 2:40 a.m. to report an officer had been shot. Ellis’ emergency lights were flashing, but dispatch had not had any radio communication from Ellis, and there was no video.
“The officer had not called out anything. We believe he had stopped, either to assist (or there was) something in the roadway. … We’re not sure,” McCubbin said.
The only witnesses, he said, were two people who saw the car with its lights on and, after waiting several minutes and seeing no activity, got out of their vehicle to see what was happening.
Nelson County Coroner Rayfield Houghlin said Ellis was shot “multiple times” with a 12-gauge shotgun. Houghlin said the officer’s service weapon was in its holster, suggesting the possibility of an ambush.
McCubbin said Ellis’ death is not only devastating to his family and colleagues but to the community.
“It’s a very sad day for us,” he said. “This is the first police officer in the history of the Bardstown Police Department to be shot and killed in the line of duty, and our police department dates back well over 150 years.”
Ellis, 33, of Chaplin, was a seven-year veteran of the police force and the city’s canine officer and training officer. He is survived by a wife and two young sons.
A native of Cincinnati, Ellis had played baseball for Cumberland College in Kentucky and a Reds’ minor league team.
Sgt. Tim Cleary of the Elizabethtown Police Department said Hardin County Crime stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Ellis’ killer.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.