(CBS) — A canine police officer from the central Illinois town of Peru was killed last night while responding to a call, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.

Kali the canine officer was on her way to an armed robbery when the squad car she and her human partner were in was hit at an intersection just before 7 p.m.

Peru’s Police Chief Doug Bernabei says the squad car had its lights and sirens on and Kali was in her customary cage in the back.

“The action was so violent there really is no way to prevent this in the sense that the door was ripped loose off the squad car and Kali was ejected,” said Bernabei.

He says the human officer was released from the hospital and is recovering from the emotional and physical trauma. The chief says the Belgian Malinois joined the department last fall after the officer’s previous canine retired.

State Police are investigating the crash and Peru Police continue to look for the robbers, who were last seen driving a blue Town and Country minivan.

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