CHICAGO (CBS)--A police shootout on a highway in eastern Virginia left a beloved police dog dead.

The Virginia State police community is mourning the loss of Vader, a 2-year-old drug-sniffing canine that had recently graduated from the Virginia State Police Narcotics Detection Training program.

Vader, a police canine in Virginia, was killed Aug. 1 during a highway shootout. (Facebook)

Police said the dog was hit by a bullet Wednesday while riding in the back of a police cruiser that was in pursuit of a vehicle fleeing from police on Interstate 95 in Sussex County.

Around 8:20 a.m. on August 1, a trooper tried to pull over a vehicle with stolen license plates. The vehicle took off, with the driver firing at police as he sped down the highway.

One of the bullets pierced the back passenger window of the police car and struck Vader, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois

Police eventually shot and killed the driver.

A Facebook post paying tribute to the canine is getting lots of attention, with more than 11,000 likes.