Ellis, who played two seasons in the Reds system from 2003-'04 before pursuing a career as a police officer, was found on a highway exit ramp on the Blue Grass Parkway in Kentucky on Sunday. State Police said Ellis, 33, had stopped his cruiser with lights flashing to pick up debris from the road. He was shot multiple times with a shotgun and later found lying in uniform outside his parked police car, according to multiple reports.
Police believe Ellis was intentionally ambushed and murdered in a planned attack and are seeking help from the public for more information.
"Currently we have no suspects and that is why we are asking for the public to help," Master Trooper Norman Chaffins told WKYT. "Someone planned this and someone planned to shoot somebody in that location at that exact time."
Ellis, who was involved with the local county Little League and worked as a K-9 officer for seven years, originally signed with the Reds as a free agent on June 2, 2002. A right-handed catcher, Ellis debut in 2003 with the Reds' Gulf Coast League affiliate, where he hit .267 with five RBIs and 12 hits in 21 games. The University of the Cumberlands product appeared in 21 games for the Rookie-level Billings Mustangs in 2004, where he hit .250 with a homer, five RBIs and five doubles in 19 games.