Funeral of Bardstown officer Jason Ellis
It was five days ago that passers-by discovered Bardstown, Ky., police officer Jason Ellis’ body outside his patrol car, ambushed as he was driving home after his shift early Saturday. Police still have no leads on the case.
The procession wound slowly through the rolling hills surrounding Bardstown on Thursday, hundreds of police cars — some from as far away as Illinois and Florida — with lights flashing as the officers escorted the flag-draped casket of 33-year-old Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis past solemn onlookers.
Overhead, TV news helicopters hovered to capture every second, while thousands of residents stood along the flag-lined route with hands to hearts, some holding hand-made signs that read, “Pray for justice” and “rest in peace.”
“We want to show respect for the family, to let them know we’re going to take care of them,” said Sgt. Joe O’Toole, a police officer who came from Louisville to join the procession. “Also, it’s a show of force to tell whoever did this, you can run, but you can’t hide.”
It was just five days ago that passers-by discovered Ellis’ body outside his Bardstown patrol car, ambushed as he was driving home after his shift early Saturday. His murderer or murderers had placed debris on a Blue Grass Parkway ramp, waited for Ellis to get out of his vehicle, then gunned him down with several shotgun blasts from atop a nearby embankment.
A reward fund exceeding $100,000 has been set up to help capture his killer, and Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin vowed to the more than 1,000 police officers, family members and residents who packed Parkway Baptist Church of Bardstown for Ellis’ funeral Thursday to “not stand down” while the search for suspects continues.
‘A fallen hero worth honoring’
The mass of police officers and others trying to reach the church was so great that Ellis’ funeral was delayed a half hour from its original 11 a.m. to give people more time to arrive.
Once there, they heard McCubbin and other speakers, such as Brent Snook, Ellis’ boyhood pastor from near Cincinnati, who remembered Ellis as a hyperactive child who grew into a likable teen, before he grew up and was “gunned down in a senseless act of cowardice.”