Sussex County, VA – Virginia State Police K9 Vader was murdered in the line of duty by a bullet fired into his handler’s vehicle by a suspect on Wednesday.
K9 Vader, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois who joined the Virginia State Police as a narcotics detection dog nine months before he was killed, was fatally shot during a vehicle pursuit of a murder suspect in a stolen car on Aug. 1, WCMH reported.
Virginia State Police said the incident began at about 8:18 a.m. after a state trooper tried to pull over a vehicle on Interstate 95, and the vehicle refused to stop.
The suspect vehicle had been reported stolen from Connecticut, according to WCMH.
Someone inside the vehicle began shooting at the trooper as the pursuit began. They shot at the troopers’ cars sporadically throughout the chase, police said.
The chase ended when the suspect crashed in the area of Loco School Road and Bell Road, but the suspect continued to fire at the officers after the wreck, WCMH reported.
One of the gunman’s rounds struck K9 Vader who was sitting in the backseat compartment of his patrol car.
Troopers returned fire and fatally shot the suspect, who turned out to be a man suspected of murder by police in Connecticut.
Tremaine Marquese Poole, 41, was wanted for the first-degree murder of his wife on May 7, WCMH reported.
The victim’s six-year-old and 11-year-old children were in the car with her when she was murdered by Poole.
K9 Vader was the third police K9 officer to have fallen in the line of duty in three days.
The Virginia State Police said K9 Vader had graduated from the Virginia State Police Narcotics Detection Training in December of 2017, according to WCMH.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Virginia State Police in the loss of K9 Vader.