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ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky State Police say the fatal shooting of a Bardstown police officer was a "premeditated" act but added that investigators aren't sure if Officer Jason Ellis was the intended target.
Ellis was killed after being shot multiple times early Saturday morning on the exit 34 ramp of the Bluegrass Parkway, authorities tell WDRB News. During a news conference Sunday afternoon, Master Trooper Norman Chaffins told reporters that Ellis had stopped to pick up debris off the road when he was "ambushed." Officials say the debris was placed there intentionally, almost like a piece of bait.
"Someone planned this, and someone planned to shoot someone at that location at that time," said Chaffins of the Kentucky State Police. "Whether he was the target, another officer in the department was a target or any police officer that stopped there was the target, that is something we are not able to pin point yet."
It's also unclear whether the shooter worked alone. Chaffins said they are looking into the possibility that the shooter didn't work alone. Either way, his fellow officers are shaken knowing that no one is in custody.
"You kill one of my guys, I'm not going to rest until I have you in cuffs or on the front side of the weapon," said Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin.
Authorities are reaching out for help by offering thousands in reward money to anyone who can lend a tip that leads to an arrest.
"Something very minor can often lead to something very big. And that is the tip we are looking for," said Chaffins.
As Ellis' fellow domestic soldiers pray for an end to the nightmare.
"We just keep hoping that we are going to wake up and it was a bad dream. But of course the longer it gets we realize that Officer Ellis is gone and not coming back," said McCubbin.
Kentucky State Police personnel reiterated that "no stone will be left unturned," and that they would be doing everything to find the person responsible.
Ellis was the department's only K-9 officer. He was a seven-year veteran of the Bardstown Police Department. The incident marked the first shooting death of an officer in the department's history.
Nelson County Coroner Field Houghlin told WDRB News Saturday evening Ellis was shot multiple times.
"From the trajectory, Officer Ellis was on the exit ramp and the suspect(s) was up on top of the hill shooting down on him," Houghlin told WDRB News.
Visitation for Officer Jason Ellis will be on Wednesday, May 29, from 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Parkway Baptist Church. The funeral will be Thursday, May 30, at 11 a.m., also at Parkway Baptist Church. Parkway Baptist is located at 2580 Springfield Road in Bardstown.
To report tips related to this shooting you can text, call or email. When using the text message system, send to the number 67283. Enter "KSP Tip" followed by the information.