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Trooper shot, killed in Three Forks

2010-12-02T00:00:00Z 2010-12-08T00:16:02Z Trooper shot, killed in Three ForksBy JOHN DORAN and PETE NOWAKOWSKI Independent Record Helena Independent Record

A massive manhunt ended late Wednesday night after police found the suspect dead just hours after he shot and killed a Montana Highway Patrolman outside Three Forks.

More than 100 police officers searched deep into the night for Errol Brent Bouldin, 56, who shot and killed 23-year-old Trooper David DeLaittre. Gallatin County Sheriff James Cashell said Bouldin shot DeLaittre on a roadway just off Montana Highway 2 at about 4:30 p.m. Police from across southern and central Montana aided the search for Bouldin, who was on the loose for nearly four hours.

Bouldin was found dead around 8:30 p.m. in his truck in the Crow Creek area near Radersburg in Broadwater County, just southwest of Townsend. Cashell said the official cause of death wouldn’t be released until after an autopsy.

The investigation is continuing and is being conducted by the Gallatin County sheriff-coroner, Broadwater County Sheriff and Broadwater County Coroner with assistance from the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation. A press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. today, at the Law and Justice Center in Bozeman. More details would be released at that time, Cashell said.

“This is a sad day for all Montanans and their law enforcement agencies,” he said in a short press release sent at 11:03 p.m.

Bouldin allegedly shot DeLaittre with a shotgun during a seemingly routine traffic stop and took the trooper’s duty pistol and at least one magazine, according to dispatch traffic. He fled the scene in a green 1999 Ford F-250 with Montana plate 6C-72082 with a dog kennel in the back.

Bouldin was originally believed to be heading north toward Broadwater County, according to law enforcement dispatches after the shooting.

Authorities immediately closed Highway 2 from the junction of U.S. Highway 287 to Interstate 90 at Three Forks, according to the Montana Department of Transportation.

Public records show Errol Brent Bouldin has a previous address in Belgrade, though Cashell’s press release said he lived in Three Forks. Belgrade police Sgt. David Keen told The Associated Press 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.

The Independent Record also learned that Bouldin used to live in Arizona. Numerous Web search results listed Bouldin as a dog trainer with North Rim Retrievers of Camp Verde, Ariz, though none were recent. There is no mention of Bouldin on North Rim’s current website, although a woman by the name of Debra Bouldin is listed as the owner.

Debra Bouldin, in a telephone interview Wednesday night with the AP prior to news being released of his death, said her ex-husband drove a truck that fit that description.

She told the AP she hadn’t spoken to her ex-husband since he left Arizona in January 2006, after he nearly died from a rattlesnake bite the year before. She said that experience left him a changed man.

“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.”

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

According to the troopers association, DeLaittre “chose the patrol because he wanted to work for the most respected law enforcement agency in Montana.”

Three Forks Mayor Gene Townsend told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle Wednesday evening that he had known David DeLaittre since the trooper “was a little kid.”

“His dad was a highway patrol trooper,” the mayor said. “(David) wanted to be in law enforcement his whole life.”

DeLaittre is the eighth and youngest trooper to have been killed in the line of duty and the first shot since 1978, according to the Montana Department of Justice’s “End of Watch” program.

“It gets kind of hard to take after awhile,” Montana Highway Patrol Lt. Col. Butch Huseby told the Chronicle. “They leave a lot behind. This two-year trooper lost his life doing what he loved to do and serving the public.”

His parents and two sisters still live in Three Forks, according to the Chronicle.

 

Denny Lester of the Independent Record and Matt Volz, of The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(42) Comments

  1. Brothernblue
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    Brothernblue - December 03, 2010 6:35 pm
    It is a sad day to have lost a Brother whom I have never met. Having been a LEO for approximately ten years I have seen the decline in respect for human life. I believe this is mostly due to the hard times people are having and becoming more and more desperate. Please do not misunderstand what I am trying to say I am in no way condoning the actions of this cold blooded killer may he B.I.H. I'm thankful he took his own life instead of forcing another Officer to do it for him.

    Having been to a Colorado Deputies Funeral just last week who was also murdered in the line of duty it tears my heart out to think of how a LEO'S Family is able to deal with the tragic loss of a loved one in such a violent way.

    God speed my Brother's we will take it from here!
    Rest In Peace Trooper David DeLaittre
  2. Proud Mamma
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    Proud Mamma - December 03, 2010 8:56 am
    Can they pull information from the camera on his car? My prayers go out to his family, what kind of evil person could
    do something like that.
  3. heartache
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    heartache - December 02, 2010 11:00 pm
    This young man pulled us over the day before Thanksgiving...he was most polite, pleasant, helpful! Young enough to be our son! I commented to my husband that this young man was a compliment to any parent! What a blessing to law enforcement.......society...must make his parents proud!! Our son was murdered over ayear ago..all too well We know the sickness and heartache to our soul...there are no words for healing....nobody understands....our hearts are with you...WE DO UNDERSTAND....we had a breif moment with this young man, but he left such an impact on our lives because he was so kind, so RESPECTFUL....PROFESSIONAL....a sweet,kind soul!!! Our heart aches for the family.........we understand all too well...for a brief encounter....this young man touched our life!!!Our hearts are with you...........We do feel your pain! For the "ideal" moment, this young man crossed our path!He is a blessing!Dear parents, Thank You for such a sweet,kind, respectful,precious,......person! You raised a child that most of us wish for! You did a GREAT job! I know our angel awaits your son...We pray for your serenity...biggest hugs.......we do UNDERTAND! we pray for your serenity.....peacefulness.......loss for words. Our pain is fresh even after over a year...........blessings to you all!
  4. dingo
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    dingo - December 02, 2010 8:01 pm
    What kind of a dirtbag shoots a trooper in cold blood? God bless this man's family. Parents never get over a thing like this and my heart goes out to them.
  5. blkirish
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    blkirish - December 02, 2010 6:08 pm
    To chick and all our other law enforcement officers, God bless and keep all of you safe.
    To the family members and spouses who have posted here, God bless you all and I cannot imagine the fear you all live with every day that your loved one may be called upon to give their life for their profession. I have nothing but respect for our law enforcement and military communities. It takes someone very special, not only to choose these careers, but also to choose to marry one of these fine people. I wish the best for all of you, and I pray the families of our fallen soldiers and law enforcement personnel are able to find some comfort to get them through times like this.

    Just a note for t-town...ima woman lol. No worries :)
  6. LivTooley
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    LivTooley - December 02, 2010 2:57 pm
    mrsdeputy said: "to T-town, I am the wife of a law enforcement officer. I worry every time he goes to work to serve and protect our community. i pray that he comes home safe every time he goes to work. You don't like the chances of the person who took the life of a very brave man that was protecting our community? Shame on you. May this murderer burn in hell for eternity. My prayers go out to Dave's family. God speed Dave."


    Out of respect for my husband and his position, as well as not wanting to be misquoted as a result, I don't comment on these stories. However, today I will make an exception.

    I see there is an LEO and the spouse of an LEO that have posted here so far. My first instinct is to reach out and hug you and let you know that you are not alone. We are all family, in good and bad times such as now. If you have a Facebook profile, I urge you to request to join the group I created there: Montana Law Enforcement Family Support. This is the forum that is used to keep you informed and offer encouragement. I have the same group set up on Police Link as well. Be sure to add a note to your request, letting me know how you are connected to LE.

    Right now emotions are high, and nerves raw, making us want to lash out. It is important, more than ever that LEO's and LEO families pull together and support each other. Reach out and comfort one another. Only through unity can we get through this tragedy. I promise, we will get through this and come out stronger as a result. Trust me, I've walked along side my husband through three previous LOD's and 2 off duty deaths. We survived that and we WILL survive this.

    Love and prayers of comfort to all who knew and loved David.
  7. LegAdv
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    LegAdv - December 02, 2010 2:38 pm
    My sincere condolences to Trooper David DeLaittre's family. And chick_10115, I agree with your points, concerning the suspect's likely motivations. Stay safe out there.
  8. repguy
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    repguy - December 02, 2010 2:23 pm
    I get what T-Town was meaning. "I dont like this guys chances" I believe refers to the possiblity that had he been found alive, one wrong move may have been his last. I dont read anything that would lead me to believe T-Town was condoning this, quite the opposite. And I am thankful first that the coward ended his life, and second that he didnt make an officer do it for him. My condolences to Trooper Delaittre's family and to his fellow officers in the MHP.
  9. chick_10115
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    chick_10115 - December 02, 2010 1:45 pm
    praying for this troopers family I to am in law enforcement and am also about the same age so it pulls tightly at my heart strings also my heart truely breaks for not only our family of law enforcement but to his family it is simply a tragedy what happen to this young man and to think that there are reports of the killer turning bitter after a rattlesnake bite PLEASE! He was a coward man who shot a unknowing officer probably because A. he other had a warrant and didn't want to go to jail or B. was drunk or on some kind of drug and didnt want to go to jail. Either way though the disgusting soul shot himself of so they are say so justice will be served thew the lord much better then any of us could have served it. An eternity of burning in hell I hope the Troopers family finds comfort in knowing there son was someones hero
  10. squawker
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    squawker - December 02, 2010 12:36 pm
    Well said BLUEEYES..
    My thoughts and prayers go out to this young man's family, friends, co-workers & community. What a senseless tragedy! Thank you to all law enforcement. What you do matters!
  11. blueeyes
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    blueeyes - December 02, 2010 11:53 am
    T-town, I read your post last night and I too understood what you were saying. That said however, this is a very emotional time for families of law enforcement. They look at things emotionally and irrationally so they didn't get it. Be kind, when they have time to think they will "get" it too. For the family of the young trooper and the his fellow troopers my deepest sympathy for your loss.
  12. T-town
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    T-town - December 02, 2010 10:30 am
    mrsdeputy said: "to T-town, I am the wife of a law enforcement officer. I worry every time he goes to work to serve and protect our community. i pray that he comes home safe every time he goes to work. You don't like the chances of the person who took the life of a very brave man that was protecting our community? Shame on you. May this murderer burn in hell for eternity. My prayers go out to Dave's family. God speed Dave."

    once again, how you got anything negative towards the fallen patrolman is beyond me. what are people thinking??
  13. T-town
    Report Abuse
    T-town - December 02, 2010 10:27 am
    mrsdeputy said: "to T-town, I am the wife of a law enforcement officer. I worry every time he goes to work to serve and protect our community. i pray that he comes home safe every time he goes to work. You don't like the chances of the person who took the life of a very brave man that was protecting our community? Shame on you. May this murderer burn in hell for eternity. My prayers go out to Dave's family. God speed Dave."

    go ahead and read the post by blkirish. atleast he gets it. i was in no way condoning the actions of this cold hearted murderer. how anyone got that out of me saying, and i quote, "i don't like this guys chances" is completely beyond me. clearly im saying that i dont like his chances to get out of this alive, as he didnt by the way, but how anyone can come up with me supporting this freak is just completely insane. wake up people!!

  14. goodmorning
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    goodmorning - December 02, 2010 10:22 am
    Thoughts and prayers go out to all the family, and the officers that worked with this man
  15. ladyback
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    ladyback - December 02, 2010 9:25 am
    Dear Lord...the trooper was so young, such a baby-face! He had to have chosen to be in Law Enforcement very early in his life. God Bless all the men and women who choose law enforcement as their career. God Bless all the officers/deputies that had to track the killer. God Bless the young trooper, may he rest in peace. God Bless the trooper's family and friends who are grieving the loss of this very special young man.
  16. mtmom0708
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    mtmom0708 - December 02, 2010 8:49 am
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Highway Partolmen's family. So young and way to young to die this way.
  17. thedukeofhelena
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    thedukeofhelena - December 02, 2010 8:38 am
    What a sad day in Montana and the USA. My thoughts and prayers go out to Trooper Delaittre's family.
  18. mrsdeputy
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    mrsdeputy - December 02, 2010 8:31 am
    to T-town, I am the wife of a law enforcement officer. I worry every time he goes to work to serve and protect our community. i pray that he comes home safe every time he goes to work. You don't like the chances of the person who took the life of a very brave man that was protecting our community? Shame on you. May this murderer burn in hell for eternity. My prayers go out to Dave's family. God speed Dave.
  19. FARMGRL
    Report Abuse
    FARMGRL - December 02, 2010 8:09 am
    My heart aches for this young man's family and friends and all who knew him. May God watch over everyone who knew David. Such a sad thing to lose someone so young. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless and Amen.
  20. mthrtkr
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    mthrtkr - December 02, 2010 7:55 am
    Thank you to all who serve, and thank you to this Trooper's family, for raising such a fine son who was willing to give his own life to protect all of ours. May you rest in peace.
  21. MTonMyMind
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    MTonMyMind - December 02, 2010 7:19 am
    Why has Montana become "the place to go" for crazy people? (remember Kaczynski?) Regarding Mr. Bouldin, who gets bit by a rattlesnake and is driven to murder?! Trauma? I think there's more to this story. My heart goes out to the Delaittre family. You will NEVER, EVER stop missing David, but time does help. May God bless you and watch over you.
  22. Darkness
    Report Abuse
    Darkness - December 02, 2010 6:12 am
    T-town said: " still like his chances? i knew he was up there, i saw him drive right by me so i dont know why you had to come in here and be a jerk, but you did that anyways. either way, he got his, whether he took his own life or not. R.I.P. to the fallen officer, thoughts and condolences to his family. nothing can bring him back, but atleast this piece of trash that caused all of this won't be waking up anytime soon. "

    T-Town,
    I think you and Dogluva are saying the same thing.
    I read Dogluva to be saying he thought the suspect's chances to come out alive were poor and he was good with that.

    I think most would agree the way it ended saved taxpayers a lot of money.

    Prayers to the Trooper's family.

  23. blkirish
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    blkirish - December 02, 2010 12:31 am
    I don't understand why everyone jumped on t-town...I understood what he was saying and it certainly WASN'T condoning or feeling sorry for the killer!!! The "I don't like this guy's chances" is a figure of speech for chrissakes!! I think people read his comment wrong and didn't take it in the spirit it was meant. Jeez...even on a story as sad, horrifying and traumatic as this one is, people cannot keep from being nasty to each other! If you don't understand what someone is getting at, ask a question instead of jumping down their throats. To t-town, I hope you didn't feel as villified as some here made you out to be! Doesn't mean t-town was pulling for the guy. I swear, some people just LOOK for a reason to put others down or jump on people. Get over yourselves!
  24. runningbare
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    runningbare - December 02, 2010 12:25 am
    My thoughts go out to the families...both of those of the Officer and those of the man who did it....they all have so much grief right now and so many questions. Sad, really just sad.
  25. T-town
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    T-town - December 01, 2010 11:01 pm

    Dogluva said: ". What? really? I like his chances. What chances did this young officer have? I vote for public execution if he lives through arrest. This is just so sad. All over a traffic stop. Sad." still like his chances? i knew he was up there, i saw him drive right by me so i dont know why you had to come in here and be a jerk, but you did that anyways. either way, he got his, whether he took his own life or not. R.I.P. to the fallen officer, thoughts and condolences to his family. nothing can bring him back, but atleast this piece of trash that caused all of this won't be waking up anytime soon.

  26. blkirish
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    blkirish - December 01, 2010 10:57 pm
    Ok..it has been confirmed. The killer was found dead in his truck. I hope he is burning already.
  27. blkirish
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    blkirish - December 01, 2010 10:54 pm
    OMG...God bless this poor young man and his family!! That S.O.B. that killed him (I've heard through someone who knows someone who is married to someone) was found dead in his truck near Townsend. I am NOT positive how he died. I suspect suicide. For this horrible man to take the life of such a young trooper, at this time of year...he will surely burn. (and no, NO time of year is good nor is any age)...I just feel so bad about this. DAMMIT!!!
  28. 4061111
    Report Abuse
    4061111 - December 01, 2010 10:33 pm
    There are times when you just don't mind if somebody is shot while being arrested. Have to admit, this would personally be one of those times.

    Driving past that road from Three Forks to the junction this afternoon, we saw the trooper's car sitting there and one SO deputy car. You could see what appeared to be a lost moment of the deputy standing in front of his own car while parked beside the road waiting for other responders. I can't imagine how that type of call feels.

    It is hard to imagine the heartbreak the family and friends, not to mention the law enforcement community are feeling right now. The law enforcement personnel do a tough and sometimes dangerous job where they put their lives on the line. There is never enough pay to equal a person's life. Yet LEOs, fire fighters, and the brave military do this for us.

    Our hearts and prayers go out to this young trooper's family, friends and to LE. Stay safe folks, and shoot straight.
  29. chick_10115
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    chick_10115 - December 01, 2010 10:19 pm
    Get that SOB!
  30. winston
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    winston - December 01, 2010 10:09 pm
    @T-town, I don't know if I'm understanding you or what. You don't like this guy's chances? Please tell me you don't think he should get away.
  31. Report Abuse
    - December 01, 2010 10:07 pm
    These brave men and woman deserve to have a partner in the cruiser!!! I would love to start a fund for the HWP or something to get money enough to pay for it. I am way more willing to fund protection for our protectors than many of the bills and crap that is being proposed. Who's with me??? Any ideas of how to do this??

    These folks are all over our highways dealing with "routine traffic stops"??? Being paid less than I even make working for an insurance company not risking my life every day!! These folks are dealing with the WORST of MT and all the crazies that filter in from other areas. What can we do?

    Flame me if you wish about more taxes ect....but dont you agree that our taxes are paying much mor less important crap???

  32. mtbanana
    Report Abuse
    mtbanana - December 01, 2010 9:55 pm
    This is the fourth MHP Trooper killed in the line of duty in as many years. My prayers are and will remain with his family and loved ones in their time of loss, and with his Highway Patrol colleagues as they mourn yet another senseless tragedy.

    I will also be praying hard that the brave men and women out hunting down Trooper DeLaittre's murderer apprehend him without incident. This person is clearly desperate and at this point has nothing more to lose! With the good Lord's help they will lock him up before he can claim more innocent lives.
  33. Dogluva
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    Dogluva - December 01, 2010 9:31 pm
    T-town said: "i don't like this guys chances...".

    What? really? I like his chances. What chances did this young officer have? I vote for public execution if he lives through arrest. This is just so sad. All over a traffic stop. Sad.

  34. Frustrated
    Report Abuse
    Frustrated - December 01, 2010 9:21 pm
    My prayers go out to the patrolman's family. I also am praying that no other person will be harmed in this situation. I can NOT imagine all the officers families, sitting at home, listening to the news breaks, and worried sick about their loved ones out there. What a nightmare for everyone.
  35. citizenb
    Report Abuse
    citizenb - December 01, 2010 9:14 pm
    To the family, my thoughts and prayers, to all the officers out there looking for this jerk, be careful and be safe. My thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you. God bless you all...
  36. dogslife
    Report Abuse
    dogslife - December 01, 2010 8:43 pm
    Does anyonw know what the troopers make for a salary? Not enough for this risk. They do this because they like what they do. May this jerk serve his sentence. hell!!!
  37. T-town
    Report Abuse
    T-town - December 01, 2010 8:12 pm
    he's up in the mountains by crow creek as we speak and he has the BCSO, FWP, MHP, and who knows who else after him right now. just heard on the scanner they're calling for the rifles. i don't like this guys chances...
  38. MontanaLady
    Report Abuse
    MontanaLady - December 01, 2010 8:10 pm
    What is this world coming to. My prayers go out to the family and friends of this trooper.
  39. Dogluva
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    Dogluva - December 01, 2010 7:42 pm
    Oh lord. God bless this troopers family. What a terrible thing to read. Please catch him before anyone else is harmed.
  40. montananativegirl
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    montananativegirl - December 01, 2010 7:18 pm
    My thoughts are with the patrolman's family. What a tragedy. A man doing his job and killed for it. I hope justice is served swiftly, and very very painfully.
  41. montanagal09
    Report Abuse
    montanagal09 - December 01, 2010 7:06 pm
    Thoughts and prayers go out to all the family, and the officers that worked with this man
  42. fishing
    Report Abuse
    fishing - December 01, 2010 6:39 pm
    Shame on you, you pathetic person you will pay for doing this to this poor officer doing his job....I hope they catch your *%^!!!!! Prayers for his family.. so sad....

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