Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --- Louisville head football coach Bobby Petrino held a news conference before the Louisville-UConn men's basketball game Saturday to preview the start of spring football. The CardinalsMore >>
Petrino talked quarterback competition and the arrest of an incoming freshman, among other topics...More >>
Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin eulogized slain Officer Jason Ellis on Thursday, describing as someone who was the first to arrive for duty and the last to leave.
Chief McCubbin said Ellis told him his original dream was to play baseball, but he set it aside to devote time to his family. Being a police officer, Ellis said, was his other dream.
McCubbin said Ellis was a "chief's cop," one who complained little and was devoted to his work. He called him a "perfect fit" for his community.
The chief said Ellis was also known as a "jokester," and mentioned the Ugly Sweater Contest held during the department's Christmas party each year. Ellis told McCubbin one year he was glad to see the chief participating in the Ugly Sweater Contest, and McCubbin replied that he wasn't. "But he knew that," McCubbin said.
McCubbin said his own son preferred to do ride-along with Ellis rather than with him -- that Ellis was his favorite officer on the force.
He concluded by saying, "Rest easy, Jason. We've got it from here."
Ellis's brother-in-law Brandon Young described Ellis as, "In addition to being a family man worth praising, Jason was also a friend worth having." He added, "Jason gave his life for his country, for his community, for his family, for all of us. Jason Ellis was a warrior."
Brent Snook, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Cincinnati, in which Ellis grew up, asked how it is possible to go on in the face of such a tragedy. He said part of the answer is who Jason was.
Speaking of his childhood, Snook said, "He always had that big smile, that grin on his face no matter what was going on." As a teenager, Snook said, Ellis could excel and never brag about it, he treated adults with respect, and he wanted to serve his God.
Snook said he didn't know why such tragedies happen, but knows "That God loves you just as much today as he did before your suffering came."
He continued, "You pass into periods of darkness, you come in good company....We don't live by explanation, but we live by promise."
"Where is Jason?" Snook asked. "Praise God, he's in heaven."
Richard Carwile, pastor of Bloomfield Baptist Church, the church Ellis family attended, asked those gathered to pray for their comfort and mercy.
Before the funeral began, a long procession of people walked past Ellis's flag-draped coffin to pay their respects. Occasionally someone would pause a moment to pray. A fellow police officer might salute.
The funeral was delayed about a half-hour from its original 11 a.m. start due to the heavy traffic in the area.
It wasn't just the church that with packed with mourners and people paying their respects. Hundreds of people lined Third street in downtown Bardstown to say their final goodbyes.
Police cruisers from all over Kentucky led the procession through town, as the fallen officer's body made a final sweep of the town he served.
Flags and hundreds of people lined US 62 leading to HighView Cemetery in Chaplin, Kentucky. The ceremony included a flag presentation, taps, and a final dispatch call for Officer Jason Ellis.
Hundreds of officers from across the state banded together to say goodbye to Officer Ellis. They say he is nothing short of a hero.
His K-9 dog, Figo, also walked behind his casket as it was being taken into the cemetery.
Kentucky State Police say Ellis was shot several times after he got out of his cruiser to pick up debris on the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County.
Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin says Ellis was targeted by a shooter and that his death was not a random act.