(CNN) -- Grief over a Kentucky officer's death is giving way to rage and anxiety as police believe someone set up a trap just to kill their colleague or another driver.
Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis was driving home from work around 2 a.m. Saturday when he noticed some debris on the road, Kentucky State Police Trooper Norman Chaffins told CNN.
When Ellis got out of his car to remove the debris, he was shot multiple times.
"It was an obvious ambush," Chaffins said. "He never used his service weapon. It was holstered."
Other drivers pulled over and used Ellis' police radio to call for help. But the officer didn't survive.
Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin promised to avenge his officer's death.
"It's an eye for an eye. You kill one of my guys, I'm not going to rest until I have you in cuffs or on the front side of a weapon. And I mean that," he said.
Chaffins said it's unclear whether Ellis was the intended target or if the shooter planned to kill a different officer or even a random citizen.
But he believes the killing was premeditated.
"Someone planned this, and someone planned to shoot somebody at that spot, at that location, at that time," Chaffins said.
The brazen and mysterious circumstances surrounding Ellis' death has sent a ripple of fear across Nelson County.
"It scares everybody in the community. It could happen to anyone," resident Martin Rogers told CNN affiliate WHAS. "If he wasn't the intended victim, that means anyone could have been the victim."