Rest in peace, K9 Vader … You never even stood a chance being shot while you were inside your kennel in the vehicle! We honor your sacrifice and selfless dedication to your handler and pray for their comfort as they deal with your tragic loss!
From the Virginia State Police:
Investigation Continues into Sussex County Shooting; VSP Remembers K-9 Vader, End of Watch: Aug. 1, 2018
At approximately 8:18 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2018, a Virginia State Police trooper was traveling north on Interstate 95 in Sussex County when he identified a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Connecticut. The trooper activated his lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle’s driver refused to stop for the trooper and sped away.
A pursuit was initiated north on I-95 during which time an individual in the suspect vehicle began shooting at the trooper’s vehicle. Sporadic shooting by the pursuit suspect continued as the stolen vehicle headed north on I-95 and then took Exit 24 for Owens/Route 645 in Sussex County, Virginia. As the stolen vehicle approached the intersection of Loco School and Bell roads, Virginia State Police positioned themselves to stop the stolen vehicle. The pursuit suspect continued firing at the state police vehicles. One of the suspect’s bullets pierced a K9 trooper’s back passenger window and struck a state police canine riding in the back seat compartment.
Once the stolen vehicle was stopped, state troopers engaged with the suspect and shots were fired. The male suspect died at the scene and will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Va. for examination and autopsy. Virginia State Police are still working to confirm the shooting suspect’s identity.
An adult female passenger in the suspect vehicle was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries. She has been treated and released.
No troopers were injured in the course of the incident.
The state police narcotics detection canine, Vader, did not survive his injuries. Vader was a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois and had graduated from Virginia State Police Narcotics Detection Training in December 2017.
In accordance with state police policy regarding officer-involved shootings, three troopers have been placed on administrative leave.
The investigation remains ongoing at this time.