More than 1,000 people, including hundreds of fellow police officers from neighboring states, gathered at a rural Kentucky funeral late last week to honor the memory of Jason Ellis, a 33-year-old K-9 officer tragically killed in what authorities suspect was an ambush.
Among those in attendance was Fido, Officer Ellis’ loyal police dog, who touched hearts by placing his paw on the closed casket. This poignant moment was captured in a heartrending photograph by Jonathan Palmer.
Regrettably, Fido wasn’t by Officer Ellis’ side on May 25 when he was shot multiple times while on duty, collecting debris on a highway off-ramp in Bardstown, Kentucky, a close-knit community of approximately 12,000 residents located 40 miles southeast of Louisville. The case of Ellis’ murder remains unsolved.
The funeral saw the presence of numerous fellow K-9 officers, and according to the Herald Leader, their canine companions expressed their grief by howling from the police cruisers.
The mournful sound of these loyal police dogs echoed throughout the service. When the honor guard was called to attention, hundreds of officers stood in solemn tribute, while approximately 60 police dogs at the ceremony barked in unison, accompanied by the guards’ 21-gun salute.
Jason Ellis, a dedicated officer with six years of service, was remembered with heartfelt words from Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin, who made a solemn promise to seek justice for his fallen comrade.
“I’m your chief, Jason, but you’re our hero, and you need to know that this chief will not back down,” McCubbin declared. “Jason, my friend, rest easy. We’ve got it from here.”
Ellis is survived by his wife, Amy, and their two young boys, Hunter, 7, and Parker, 6. Chief McCubbin acknowledged Officer Ellis’s ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, stating, “He paid the ultimate sacrifice doing what he loved, being a police officer.”