Police: Man wanted in Connecticut murder dead after pursuit in Virginia
SUSSEX, VA (WWBT) - A man wanted for a murder and another shooting in Connecticut is dead following a chase with Virginia State Police.
A Virginia State Police K-9 named Vader is also dead.
Tramaine Marquese Poole, 41, is suspected of shooting two women in Connecticut in May. Virginia State Police say Poole was killed following a chase Wednesday on I-95.
Poole was suspected of shooting his wife on May 7, and the shooting and killing another woman - 28-year-old Tyekqua Nesbitt - in front of her children on May 31.
State police say at 8:18 a.m., a trooper spotted a stolen vehicle out of Connecticut. When the trooper initiated a stop, the driver 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," state police said in a news release. "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."
Police then positioned to stop the stolen vehicle at the intersection of Loco School and Bell roads.
"The pursuit suspect continued firing at the state police vehicles," state police said. "One of the suspect's bullets pierced a K9 trooper's back passenger window and struck a state police canine riding in the backseat compartment."
Police say once the vehicle stopped, the suspect and troopers were involved in a confrontation and engaged in gunfire.
The suspect died at the scene. A female passenger was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and has since been released. Police did not say whether she was shot or injured in the crash.
The K-9 that died, Vader, was a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois and had graduated from Virginia State Police Narcotics Detection Training in December 2017.
"It's as if a police officer has fallen in the line of duty," said Sgt. Michelle Anaya, with VSP. "We had a ceremony just now where we all saluted him as the dog was placed into a kennel and he was taken to a veterinarian hospital in Richmond being escorted by lights and sirens as we speak."
"It's kind of frightening in a way, because it could have happened around here," said Reather Mason, who owns a store nearby.
Mason said the incident caused roads around her business to be shut down for most of the day.
"I haven't seen a lot of people today," she said. "I do know a lot of people come from down in that area.
In accordance with state police policy regarding officer-involved shootings, three troopers are on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
State police is currently working on arrangements for a memorial service to honor Vader.
"Our canine program is essential in so much of what we do as a Department to achieve our public safety mission," said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Vader and are forever grateful for his sacrifice and selfless service to the state police and the Commonwealth. For our canine handlers, their dogs are more than just a partner on the job. They are their protectors, their constant companion and confidant on the road. Vader was family."
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