Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 6 years
Badge # 178
Incident Date: 11/2/1946
Weapon: Handgun; .38 caliber
Suspect: One shot and killed
Trooper Robert Steele was shot and killed while he and his partner investigated a vehicle which had just been used in a robbery in the city of Billings, Montana. They observed a vehicle matching the description pull of Highway 10 and turn its lights off. Trooper Steele and a fellow trooper, riding together, pulled in behind the vehicle. Trooper Steele approached on the passenger's side with his gun drawn. One of the occupants suddenly turned and shot Trooper Steele in the throat, killing him.
Trooper Steele's partner shot and killed the suspect. The driver of the vehicle then jumped out of the vehicle and exchanged shots with the partner. Both were wounded in the shootout. The second suspect fled but was apprehended after an 11-hour manhunt. The surviving suspect was sent to prison but later paroled.
Patrolman Steele was a WWII veteran and had been with the agency for six years. He had returned to the police force from WWII only two months before his murder.