Wife: Slain Officer 'Will Always Be My Hero'
BARDSTOWN, Ky. -- The widow of an ambushed Bardstown Police officer said Tuesday that her late husband "will always be my hero" and that the "pain will never go away" after he was ambushed and killed on his way home from work.
In her first public statements after her husband was killed Saturday, Amy Ellis credited her faith with helping her keep going.
"God has picked me up off the bathroom floor," Ellis said.
Kentucky State Police say Jason Ellis was shot multiple times after he got out of his cruiser to pick up debris on Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County. Investigators there are asking for the public's help in finding suspects.
Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said there have been lots of tips and a few leads, but nothing definitive yet. Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
McCubbin said investigators are working around the clock and are going to scrutinize everyone who had been arrested by Ellis. McCubbin said he wants the shooter to either spend life in prison or go to death row.
McCubbin hopes somebody around town "runs their mouth" with information that could result in arrests or leads.
Ellis' death has triggered an outpouring of grief in the town of about 12,000 about 40 miles southeast of Louisville. Bardstown has a long heritage of bourbon-making and is home to My Old Kentucky Home State Park.
Flags are at half-staff around Bardstown, and more than 300 people attended a candlelight vigil Monday night outside the police station.
A stream of mourners has placed flowers, flags, balloons and baseballs on a police cruiser that's turned into a makeshift memorial in front of the police station.
Jason Gossett of Bardstown said the slaying has sent shockwaves through the town.
"I don't think we're gripped with fear," Gossett said while stopping by the police station Tuesday morning to pay tribute to Ellis. "We're just upset, we're outraged, and we're saddened."
Bardstown police Chief Rick McCubbin said the slaying was the darkest day of his 25-year law enforcement career.
"When I arrived on the scene and on one knee, placing my hand on one of my officers who lay on the side of the road deceased, I cried not only for him, but his two young sons, his wife and my other officers," McCubbin said in a statement.
McCubbin called the assailants cowardly and said he won't rest until they are "at rest themselves."
Ellis was in uniform and was driving home when he was slain.
Ellis was a star baseball player at the University of Cumberlands, according to the school website. He signed with the Cincinnati reds and played from 2002-2005 in the minor leagues.
The school's biography says Ellis has twice received the governor's award for impaired driving enforcement and received officer of the year in 2008.