Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis has been buried at a Nelson County cemetery following an emotional funeral service Thursday.
Ellis was shot to death last Saturday after he got out of his cruiser to pick up debris on the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County. The murder remains unsolved, with investigators not publicly identifying any suspects or motives in the case.
Hundreds of mourners--many of them police officers from across the state and nation--came to Bardstown Thursday for Officer Ellis' funeral. Friends remembered Ellis as a fun-loving family man who was proud of his work taking drugs off the street with his canine partner.
During the funeral service, a friend spoke of Ellis' previous life as a minor-league baseball player who decided to hang up his cleats and pursue law enforcement once he got married and became a father.
Ellis leaves behind a wife, Amy, and two sons, ages six and seven.
Meanwhile, a Louisville businessman is giving $50,000 to a reward fund set up to find the person or persons responsible for killing Officer Ellis.
Gus Goldsmith is also giving $10,000 to a fund to help the Ellis family.
Goldsmith says Ellis' death "hit home". Goldsmith's brother was murdered during a pawn shop robbery 38 years ago, and police never found the killer.
Update at 11:05 a.m.:
The funeral for Officer Jason Ellis was set to get underway at this hour in Bardstown. The service was moved back an hour to allow time for mourners to get to the church where the funeral is being held.
Police officers from as far away as California, Pennsylvania, and Florida are in Bardstown to pay their respects to Ellis, who was shot to death Saturday after he got out of his police cruiser to pick up debris on the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County.
Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin believes the killing was a premeditated assassination. So far, investigators have not publicly indentified any suspects or motives in the case.
Update at 10:37 a.m.:
The funeral for slain Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis has been delayed at least an hour due to the high number of mourners--many of them fellow law enforcement officers--seeking to get to the church for the service.
WKU Public Radio's Lisa Autry tells us the service is expected to begin at 11 a.m. central/noon eastern time.
Lisa says she has seen police cruisers from as far away as California and Pennsylvania in Bardstown this morning for the funeral.
Many of the out-of-town police officers paying their respects to Ellis have dogs with them. Ellis was the lone K-9 officer for the Bardstown Police Department.
WKU Public Radio’s Lisa Autry is in Bardstown Thursday reporting on the reaction to the weekend murder of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis. Lisa called in this morning to say police officers from all across the commonwealth are heading to the Nelson County town to pay their respects to Officer Ellis and his family, on the day of his funeral.
Police cruisers from McCracken County, Hopkinsville, Oak Grove, Jefferson County, and Simpson County were seen waiting to in traffic off the Bluegrass Parkway.
As a result of that traffic, Lisa reports the Bardstown exit off of the Bluegrass Parkway is backed up, as is traffic on 31-E off the exit. We’ll be airing Lisa’s reports throughout the day during our regional newscasts, and we'll post them here and at our Facebook page.