BARDSTOWN, Ky. - Funeral services for a slain Bardstown, Ky. police officer and Batavia, Ohio native have been announced.
Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday from from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Parkway Baptist Church in Bardstown for 33-year-old Jason Ellis. The funeral will take place at the church Thursday at 11 a.m.
Kentucky State Police and the Bardstown Police Department continue to investigate the death of Ellis, who was found shot dead in his cruiser near the Bluegrass Parkway early Saturday morning. Nelson County Coroner said a preliminary investigation reveals Ellis died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the ABC News affiliate in Louisville, WHAS-TV.
The trajectory of the bullets place the shooter on a hill above the exit 34 ramp of the Bluegrass Parkway. It is believed that Ellis stopped to move debris from the roadway and was "ambushed," the coroner's office said. His gun was still in his holster.
Ellis was a Glen Este graduate and former minor league player for the Cincinnati Reds, who grew up in Batavia, and attended the First Baptist Church of Glen Este, according to that church's senior pastor.
As those who knew him in Greater Cincinnati spoke of a man who was well respected and liked after the news of his death, Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin vowed revenge.
"It's an eye for an eye. You kill one of my guys, I'm not going to rest until I have you in cuffs or on the front side of a weapon. And I mean that," McCubbin told CNN in an interview.
McCubbin also reports the department has received a couple of news tips about Ellis' death. Additionally, the department is offering a $6,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Locally, growing up in Clermont County, Ellis earned first all-city and Player of the Year honors in the then Queen City Conference in 1998, his baseball coach John Hatfield said in a statement.
"Jason Ellis was a great kid and a great man," Hatfield said.
Pastor Brent Snook echoed Hatfield's sentiments.
"I was very close to [Ellis]," Snook said, who knew Ellis since he was 6 years old. "In 25 years, he was one of the kids that grew up in the church. He was a good friend of my oldest daughter. He was just very close to me. I just loved the guy. He was the kind of guy that everybody liked."
Snook, who has been in contact with Ellis' family, said he remembered a young man passionate about baseball, filled with integrity and strong in his faith.
"He wanted to do police work when he left baseball to make a difference," Snook said. "I think he did."
Snook added Ellis' mother and sisters are in Bardstown mourning with family.
According to the website for the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., Ellis played with the Reds' minor league teams in Sarasota, Fla., and Billings, Montana from 2002 to 2005 before graduating from the school. Ellis also met his wife at the Cumberlands, according to Snook.
Bardstown Police said Ellis was a K-9 officer, who had worked for the department for seven years.
The Kentucky State Police continue to look for a suspect.
Snook only had two words when he initially heard of Ellis' death from his family.
"Shocked. Shocked," he said. "[Ellis] was a great kid. He was one of the best. His parents raised him right. He was very respectful to authority."
According to Barlow Funeral Home in Bardstown who is handling Ellis' funeral arrangements, an officer is standing watch over Ellis' remains and will continue to do so until he is buried.
Ellis was the first officer killed in Bardstown, a small town located approximately 40 miles south of Louisville, Ky.
Ellis is survived by his wife, two sons, mother, and two sisters.
9 On Your Sides Shannon Kettler contributed to this report
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