Senior Patrol Officer Daniel Ellis of the Richmond, Kentucky Police Department was killed in the line of duty on November 6, 2015 and a benefit for his widow Katie Ellis and son Luke, 3, was held on April 23, 2016 at the Saint Mark Roman Catholic Church.
In attendance was Jay Leno among about 50 – 60 Law Enforcement Officers and hundreds of participants who gathered at the event. Officers were allowed into the venue at the reduced price of $4.57 which was Officer Daniel Ellis’s shield number.
The Pastor of Saint Mark’s Church is father Jim Sichko who has been involved in organizing the benefit for the fallen officer’s family. During the event he presented Katie Ellis with a gift box which she opened.
When she opened it, she was brought to tears and gasped with disbelief as he told her it was a gift “on behalf of my mother, my brothers, my sisters and myself. We’re sending you and Luke to Disneyworld” as the priest revealed a pair of Mickey Mouse ears.
Jay Leno provided entertainment during the event and spoke to WKTY. He stated: “You know everybody thinks the world is such a terrible place. But there are more good people than there are bad people and we hear about the bad people. You know, it’s like this police officer that was killed in the line of duty, he was a good man.”
Leno donated $10,000.00 toward Lukes college fund stating: “I’d like to see him go to college, Police officers don’t make enough money anyway and when you lose the bread winner of the family, it’s the saddest thing in the world.”
Katie Ellis stated “It is very surreal. We’re just regular people that have unfortunately been put in this position and we lost Daniel and we’re very honored that someone like Jay Leno would care just a little. It means the world.”
She was happy that so many people had supported her during this time of need but was sad over the loss of her husband stating: “It’s bittersweet, you know? I’d rather just be sitting on the couch with Daniel, but that can’t happen,” said Ellis. “So, I feel like the community is really healing with me.”
Father Sichko noted over the death of Officer Ellis “Let’s not forget the whole incident started at St. Mark,” said Sichko. “A kindergarten teacher was robbed by that individual, that assailant. Daniel, Officer Ellis was coming to assist us.”
Officer Ellis died two days after being shot in the head while attempting to apprehend an armed robbery suspect who had been hiding inside an apartment. He was a 7 year veteran of the Richmond Police Department.