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Montana Trooper Fatally Shot; Suspect Found Dead In Vehicle

Montana Trooper Fatally Shot; Suspect Found Dead In Vehicle

Associated Press

December 02, 2010

HELENA, Mont. — Police are trying to piece together what led a dog trainer to shoot and kill a state trooper along a roadside in southwestern Montana, prompting a manhunt that ended with the suspect found dead in his truck.

That’s only the first of several unanswered questions surrounding the killing of Montana Highway Patrol officer David DeLaittre, 23, who was found dead of a gunshot wound in his vehicle on Wednesday afternoon.

Police later found the shooter, Errol Brent Bouldin, 56, dead in his 1999 green Ford F250 pickup truck in Broadwater County south of Townsend, which is about 35 miles north of Three Forks.

Still unknown is what led to the encounter between Bouldin and DeLaittre off Montana Highway 2 just outside of Three Forks, where the Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison rivers converge to form the Missouri River.

Gallatin County Sheriff James Cashell said police also don’t know yet how Bouldin died, whether he took his own life and what weapon or weapons were used to kill DeLaittre and himself.

Cashell said more information would be released at a 2 p.m. press conference on Thursday.

Bouldin’s ex-wife, Debra Bouldin of Camp Verde, Ariz., told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he was a dog trainer and that she had not spoken to him since he left Arizona in January 2006.

The year before, he nearly died from a rattlesnake bite. Debra Bouldin said that experience left him a changed man.


In this undated photo released by the Montana Highway Patrol, officer David Delaittre is shown. Police were searching Wednesday night, Dec. 1, 2010 for a man who shot and killed Delaittre hours earlier on the side of a road near the town of Three Forks, M

“You know how when people have trauma they either become so thankful about everything about life or else they become bitter against life? Brent went to the bitter side,” she said. "That was a very life-changing thing for him. What happened after that, I honestly can’t tell you.

She said her prayers were with the trooper’s family.

More than 100 federal, state and local law enforcement officers from across southwestern Montana responded to the shooting and authorities closed Highway 2 from the junction of U.S. Highway 287 to Interstate 90 at Three Forks, about 70 miles southeast of Helena.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said Bouldin lived in Three Forks. Public records show he previously lived in Belgrade, a town about 20 miles away.

Belgrade police Sgt. David Keen said a warrant for Bouldin’s arrest was issued on Dec. 3, 2009, on a contempt charge, meaning Bouldin either failed to appear in court or did not comply with a court order. Keen said he did not know why the contempt warrant was issued.

DeLaittre was sworn in as a trooper in November 2008. He initially was stationed in Chinook and then transferred to Bozeman in April 2010, Department of Justice spokeswoman Judy Beck said.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that DeLaittre was from Three Forks, where his parents and two sisters live.

Seven other Montana Highway Patrol officers have died in the line of duty, two by shooting, according to the Association of Montana Troopers.

  • Sfa_iv_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP My prayers to the family at the lost of a fine young Officer.

  • Images_max160_sq90_max50


    over 3 years ago


    It's heartwarming to see so many caring people on this posting; so very heartwarming. The media makes you wonder if there is anyone out there who has a heart and tries to do what is right....

  • Ethan_beyer_max50


    over 3 years ago


    such a young man with a promising future. it's just sad.

  • Dhs_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest In Peace, Brother.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    RIP brother

  • 2008_masonic_coin_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I've said it before, the older I get, the younger they get. It is heart wrenching to lose a LEO, especially at a young age. But it is humbling to know that there are young men and women out there who have the morals, values, ethics, integrity, and courage to take upon themselves the mantel of Law Enforcement. To all our young men and women in uniform everywhere, may God above watch you and protect you. Thank you for your service. To the family of Officer David Delaittre, and to his comrades, I offer my deepest condolences and prayers. You are not alone.

  • Mourning_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace officer David DeLaittre. My Prayers for your Family, friends and coworkers.

  • 309


    over 3 years ago


    23 is way too young. Terrible, RIP.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    RIP prayers for your family and friends. The POS who did it should be burning in hell if there is any justice

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Rest in Peace, Brother. My prayers for your family and co-workers.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    RIP my Brother

  • American_first_responder2_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Trooper DeLaittre, you wore your uniform with professional pride;
    it is such a sad situation to know that as a Trooper you were too young when you died;
    it is not easy when one dies so very young, and to us mere humans your death doesn't make any sense;
    I wish to thank your family for sacrificing your service to mankind even though now it was a sacrifice of unmeasured expense!
    Too many of your Brothers are dying in a world that seems to have lost their mind;
    it saddens me to no end to know that you're leaving this world, leaving family that loves and misses you behind;
    you fought hard and unselfishly you took your valuable time to protect and serve;
    it is no words to explain it the emptiness that is felt inside, death of a brother LEO strikes an unending nerve;
    So, now that you are 10-7 on the highways and byways of the great Montana state;
    I know you are serving with Gods Sky Angels now, so you'll never end your heavenly service as now you're again 10-8!
    I will pass on my sincere condolences to your parents, and two sisters and Montana State Patrol in their sudden and unexpected loss in your death. Thanks Trooper Delaittre for giving us your all...we view your service as a man that "Walked Very Tall"!

    Copyrighted by: Michael R. Powell, on December 4, 2010

  • Pug_max600_max50


    over 3 years ago



  • Marvin_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Brother

  • French_chopper_seat_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace, Tpr DeLaittre, and thought and prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues.
    So tragic loss at such a young age, he had his entire career and life ahead of him.

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