BARDSTOWN, Ky. (AP) — A Bardstown police officer was shot and killed early Saturday morning while driving home from work and investigators don't have any suspects yet, Kentucky State Police said.
The original call came in as a traffic crash on Exit 34 of the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County, but when troopers arrived they found that Jason Ellis, 33, had been fatally shot.
Ellis was in uniform and had been driving his cruiser home, according to a statement from state police.Spokesman Norman Chaffins said the officer was found outside his vehicle. He said he did not know how many times Ellis had been shot.
The exit was shut down as troopers investigated the shooting near Bardstown, a city with 12,000 residents about 40 miles southeast of Louisville. Chaffins said police have no suspects.
Chaffins said there was no radio communication between Ellis and dispatchers in the moments before the shooting.
Ellis' body was taken to Louisville for an autopsy.
Nelson County Coroner Rayfield Houghlin told The Courier-Journal that 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.
Bardstown police didn't immediately return a call for comment Saturday, but posted an announcement about the shooting on its Facebook page.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the loss of one of our finest officers," the Facebook statement said. "Officer Jason Ellis started his Police career in 2006 at the Bardstown Police Department. He was our K-9 Officer. He was active in the community and quickly earned the respect of his peers. He served Bardstown with dignity and honor. He wore the uniform well, and he will be missed more than mere words can express."
Ellis is survived by a wife and two children.
According to the University of the Cumberlands website, Ellis was a star baseball player when he attended the school and signed with the Cincinnati Reds Minor League team, playing from 2002 to 2005.
The school's biography says that since becoming an officer, Ellis has twice received the Governor's Award for Impaired Driving Enforcement and also was awarded Officer of the Year in 2008.