A Kentucky police officer was killed in what appears to be the result of a roadside ambush. According to ABC News (via Yahoo News on May 27), authorities are saying that Bardstown K-9 Police Officer Jason Ellis was shot and killed Saturday when he stopped to remove debris from a highway ramp. Investigators are also saying the cop was a victim of a “calculated” killing.
“I’ve been a trooper for 19 years and I’ve never seen anything like this, the level of planning,” Kentucky State Trooper Norman Chaffins told ABCNews.com. The State Police have taken the lead in the investigation.
Chaffins added: “We have no suspects at this time, but we don’t believe kids were responsible because of how calculated the crime was. The location was obviously not picked randomly.”
Ellis was on his way home Saturday morning when he stopped on the Exit 34 ramp off the Blue Grass Parkway in Nelson County, which is 10 miles from Bardstown. The off-duty officer was removing debris from the roadway when he was shot multiple times.
A passing motorist found Ellis, his vehicle’s lights still flashing, and, using the cop’s car radio, called the incident in — but mistakenly referred to it as a traffic accident. It took only moments for those that first arrived on the scene knew the 33-year-old, however, had not been the victim of a traffic accident.
Investigators haven’t released details of the debris but referred to it as being important to the investigation.
Bardstown Chief of Police Rick McCubbin was direct about the premeditation aspect of the crime. “It wasn’t a traffic stop that went bad,” he said. “It wasn’t an arrest that went bad. That someone actually took the time to plan it and set it up makes it that much more, obviously hurtful, but it makes you mad.”
And you could tell McCubbin was angry when he said, “I can assure you we won’t give up on this person until we have him either in custody or in the front side of one of our weapons and I personally hope the latter is the choice.”
Jason Ellis had been a member of the Bardstown Police Department for seven years. He is the first cop to ever be killed in the line of duty for the small law enforcement agency.
Ellis is survived by a wife and two children.
Police are asking the public to aid in the investigation, urging that anyone who has knowledge of anything strange or suspicious, no matter how trivial or innocuous the detail might be, occurring on or near the Exit 34 ramp of the Blue Grass Parkway on Saturday at around 2:53 a.m. (EST), to call “Text a Tip” or visit the Kentucky State Police online or email a public affairs officer.
The killing of Jason Ellis via ambush follows the slaying of two deputy sheriffs in LaPlace, Louisiana, in September. CNN reports that two police officers were ambushed when they went to investigate the shooting of a third deputy in a parking lot incident. A second deputy was also wounded in the apprehension of the gunman.