KSP Release Video Seeking Help In Solving Officer Slaying - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

KSP Release Video Seeking Help In Solving Officer Slaying

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky State Police expanded their appeal for help in tracking down the killer of an ambushed Bardstown police officer, posting a YouTube video Thursday that said whoever committed such a "heinous crime must be kept off our streets."

The video, providing details about the slaying, was filmed at the rural highway exit ramp where Officer Jason Ellis was gunned down on May 25 while headed home. He was hit with multiple shotgun blasts after he got out of his cruiser to pick up tree limbs on the ramp. Police think the debris was put there intentionally so he would stop.

"An individual capable of committing such a heinous crime must be kept off our streets," state police Lt. Jeremy Thompson said in the video. "Our investigation continues, and we gain new information daily. But I'm here asking for your help."

The video said the 33-year-old Ellis was a "dedicated servant" in Bardstown, had a wife and two children and coached Little League baseball.

Ellis' death led to an outpouring of grief in Bardstown, a town of about 12,000 some 40 miles southeast of Louisville. Hundreds attended Ellis' funeral and even more lined roads to the country cemetery where he was buried.

State police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said he hoped the new approach in asking for the public's help would generate fresh leads.

"Social media has changed the way we communicate and, increasingly, the way law enforcement investigates criminal activity," he said. "It allows us instant contact and response from a vast audience and is increasingly becoming a venue for real time reporting as events happen."

It's an approach increasingly being embraced by the state's lead police agency. The KSP YouTube page has received more than 56,000 views during the past year, the agency said. State police also have a Facebook following of more than 70,000 and a Twitter following approaching 10,000.

"This is another platform that we can use to solve crimes," Brewer said.

More than $200,000 in reward money has been pledged for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the Ellis case.

State police have assigned a detective to concentrate on the Ellis death investigation, said state police Trooper Jeff Gregory.

"He's still following up on tips and leads and working it hard every day," he said.

The video is an attempt to cast a wide net as police look for the culprit, who may have fled the area or could still be living locally, he said.

"We're just weighing all of our options and trying to get as much exposure as we can to see if we can catch a break," Gregory said.

The video asks people with any information in the case to contact the Elizabethtown state police post at (270) 766-5078 or the KSP Tip Line at (800) 222-5555.

To view the video, go to http://on.nc5.co/194Trx9.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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