BARDSTOWN, Ky. – It’s been three years since a Bardstown Police officer was shot and killed. His police chief says the search for his killer hasn’t stopped.
The twenty-fifth of May is a tough day at the Bardstown Police department.
“Very, very emotional day,” Chief Rick McCubbin said Wednesday. “Certainly for us, but the family especially.”
On this day in 2013 Officer Jason Ellis was shot and killed after he got out of his cruiser to remove debris from an exit off of the Bluegrass Parkway. He left behind a wife and two young sons.
“You have to relive it, not that they don’t relive it every day, you just automatically go back to it,” McCubbin said.
In the years since his picture has been posted across the city. Of all the photos of Ellis in Bardstown some of the most noticeable are hanging in the Mercantile Store on 3rd street.
“Every morning I come in and spend a minute looking at it, but three years Jason’s been dead. I thought somebody would have come forward by now,” said Buddy Gulden the owner of the Mercantile Store.
McCubbin says the show of support from the city, even three years later, has been humbling.
“You can still go downtown, three years to the day, and his picture is still in every window. So the town is paying tribute and I hope they always do.”
But his killer, or killers, still haven’t been found.
“At one point we were trying to say do we think there were four people, five people,” McCubbin said. “We were hoping because obviously the more people involved, something is going to be said, something is going to leak out.”
McCubbin’s last day as chief is Friday. He’s retiring and as he prepares to leave the department he says he had hoped to have this case solved before now.
“Though it’s not ours to investigate, it happened on my watch as chief and that will haunt me forever.”
Kentucky State Police have been in charge of the investigation since the morning Ellis was killed.
“I hope and pray someday to get a phone call that says ‘Hey, we’re going to name the suspect, we’re going to arrest him,’ and I want to be right here when it happens,” he said.
Officer Ellis’ friends and family plan to meet at the police department Wednesday night and travel the route he took the night he died, eventually going to the cemetery where he is buried for a candlelight vigil.