The people of a central Kentucky town have found a unique way to honor a police officer who was killed in the line of duty.
Richmond, Kentucky, Police Officer Daniel Ellis died Nov. 6, after 34-year-old Raleigh Sizemore Jr., an ex-convict and robbery suspect, fatally shot him while he and other officers were searching the man's apartment, the Associated Press reports.
Ellis, an officer of seven years, leaves behind a devastated wife and four-year-old son. He was 33 years old at the time of his death.
"It's just heartbreaking," Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes told the AP. "It's an emotional time for everyone in the community. Those guys work so hard to protect the city."
People have paid their respects at Ellis' police cruiser, which is covered in black cloth and parked in front of the station.
"It's packed with flowers," Richmond Police Major Steve Gregg said. "People are driving by and telling us how sorry they are and that we have their support. That means a lot to us."
One local business decided that they could do even more to pay tribute to the fallen officer.
The Bluegrass Ace Hardware store in Richmond, Kentucky, will give away 2,000 blue light bulbs for residents to install in front of their homes, the Independent Journal reports.
“We decided to check with our warehouse in Princeton, Illinois to see how many blue light bulbs they had available that we could purchase," Karen Prewitt, who, along with her husband, owns Bluegrass Ace Hardware, told the Independent Journal. "They had enough that it would make an impact on the community. This lets the community feel like they could be involved to show support for the local, county, and state law enforcement.”
On Nov. 9-11, residents will bathe their porches in blue light as a gesture to honor Ellis' service.
The store, which has been in the town since the 1940s, asks for a small donation that will go to Ellis' family, in return for the free light bulb, according to LEX 18.