A Kentucky police officer died Friday from gunshot wounds received while searching for a robbery suspect.
Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis died early Friday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, according to a statement issued Friday by the Kentucky State Police. The officer had been shot Wednesday.
“It’s just heartbreaking,” Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes told The Associated Press.” “It’s an emotional time for everyone in the community.”
Officer Ellis was a seven-year veteran of the force, as well as a husband and father of a 4-year-old son. He was respected in the community. Hundreds gathered Thursday night at a local Catholic church to pray for his recovery and Ellis’ police cruiser, which is parked outside the police department, has become a memorial with flowers covering the hood.
He was also popular in his precinct. Before the injury, he was in line for a promotion to detective, Police Maj. Steve Gregg told The Lexington Herald-Leader.
"We're a very close department," Major Gregg told the local paper. "You work together every day and we're a really close-knit group of people here. It's like losing a brother."
Ellis had been wounded while searching for a suspect thought to have attempted to mug a woman in the parking lot of a downtown gas station. Police say Raleigh Sizemore Jr. engaged the officers with gunfire while they were searching an apartment complex. Ellis was struck and the other officer returned fire, injuring Mr. Sizemore. Sizemore was treated and has been released to police custody. He is being charged with attempted murder of a police officer.
Two others in the apartment during the shooting were also placed under arrest. Gregory Ratliff was charged with complicity to commit murder and Rita Creech was arrested on robbery in the first degree.
All three arrested are being held at Madison County Detention Center.
Mayor Barnes has said that the small town of Richmond has already begun discussing raising money for Ellis’ family.
The family “ask that you continue to pray for them as they grieve this tremendous loss,” according to the Richmond Police Department.
Flags were flown at half-mast in front of the Richmond Police Department Friday morning.
This report includes material from The Associated Press.