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Montana Highway Patrol remembers trooper killed near Three Forks Airport

Trooper David DeLaittre killed 10 years ago today
Posted at 3:38 PM, Dec 01, 2020

THREE FORKS — The Montana Highway Patrol is remembering a fallen trooper today.

Trooper David DeLaittre, 23, was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago on Dec. 1, 2010. Trooper DeLaittre served with MHP for two years. He was 23 years old.

According to a social media post:

"Trooper David DeLaittre was shot and killed while conducting a vehicle stop on Lane Road, near the Three Forks Airport, in Gallatin County at about 4:20 pm.

He had stopped the vehicle after seeing a man walking nearby with a shotgun. Before Trooper DeLaittre exited the vehicle the driver exited the truck and started walking back towards the patrol car, then suddenly turned around and reached into the pickup truck.

As Trooper DeLaittre instructed the man to come back the man emerged with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with birdshot. The two exchanged shots at range of 35-feet and Trooper DeLaittre was struck in the abdomen. He took cover on the passenger side of his patrol car as the subject reloaded his shotgun. They exchanged shots again and Trooper DeLaittre suffered a fatal shot.

The suspect, who had been wounded once in the chest during the shootout, fled in his truck. He was found dead several hours later after having committed suicide with a .22 caliber rifle.

He is survived by his parents and three siblings." (Officer Down Memorial Page)