The gunman who ambushed a Kentucky cop on a highway exit ramp is a "true coward," but is also a "dangerous person," an angry police chief warned today.
Chief Rick McCubbin, head of the Bardstown, Ky., police force spoke after the widow of the slain officer told a news conference that her husband always made her feel like he was "superman."
Officer Jason Ellis, 33, was on his way home at 2:53 a.m. Saturday morning when he stopped because of debris in the road on exit 34, the same ramp he took every day off the Blue Grass Parkway in Nelson County, 10 miles from Bardstown. When Ellis began removing the debris, Kentucky State Police say he was ambushed in a "premeditated attack" and shot multiple times.
Investigators believe the debris was intentionally placed to draw someone out of their vehicle, but they're not sure whether a law enforcement officer was the target or someone else.
"A true coward would do what has happened," McCubbin said today. "But yet, a dangerous person."
The chief has spoken forcefully about the shooting. On Sunday 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."
The chief said today that his investigators have "a whole lot of tips, a few leads, but nothing we can get excited over just yet."
Ellis' tearful widow Amy Ellis said today, "Words cannot express how proud I am. He's forever our hero. He always made me feel like he was superman. That nothing would ever happen to him."
"He wanted to make sure everybody was having a good time around him. He was a dedicated family man. He loved our boys. He loved me," said Ellis' widow.
The couple met on Valentine's day 12 years ago and Amy Ellis said they were inseparable ever since. Joined by Jason's mother and a number of her husband's fellow officer's, Amy Ellis said her two boys "know their daddy's not coming back."
Ellis was a seven year veteran of the Bardstown Police Department, which serves a town of 12,000 people located 40 miles southeast of Louisville, and residents held a candlelight vigil Monday evening attended by 300 people. Flowers cover Ellis' cruiser parked outside the police station.
Kentucky State Police are asking for the public's help in identifying anything that seemed unusual or out of place on the exit 34 ramp prior to the shooting.
"The smallest detail that may not seem important to a lay person may be the one detail we need to bring someone to justice," said investigators in a statement. Citizens are asked to "Text a Tip" or visit the Kentucky State Police online or email a public affairs officer.