Authorities say police officer shot in central Kentucky dies

33-year-old Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis died early Friday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. (Courtesy: Kentucky State Police)

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — A central Kentucky police officer died early Friday after he was shot in the head and severely wounded Wednesday while searching an apartment for a robbery suspect, authorities said.

Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis, 33, died at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, according to a statement from Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy.

“It’s just heartbreaking,” Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes told The Associated Press. “It’s an emotional time for everyone in the community. Those guys work so hard to protect the city.”

Ellis, a seven-year veteran of the force, had remained in the hospital after suffering life-threatening injuries following the Wednesday shooting.

Authorities said Ellis and another officer went to an apartment in search of a man who tried to mug a woman in the parking lot of a downtown gas station.

While there, police said the suspect, Raleigh Sizemore Jr., 34, opened fire on Ellis. The second officer returned fire and struck Sizemore, who was treated at the hospital and released to police custody.

Sizemore was charged with attempted murder of a police officer and unlawful imprisonment first degree.

Two others in the apartment during the shootout were also arrested: Gregory Ratliff, 25, was charged with complicity to commit murder, and Rita Creech, 44, was booked with robbery in the first degree.

All three are being held at the Madison County Detention Center.

Barnes said people in Richmond, which has a population of about 32,000 people, had already been talking about raising money for Ellis’ family while he was in the hospital. Barnes said he is also concerned with how to better protect Ellis’ colleagues who are still on the police department.

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