Patrolman Robert G. Steele

Patrolman Robert G. Steele

Montana Highway Patrol, Montana

End of Watch Saturday, November 2, 1946

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Robert G. Steele

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 off 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 Montana Highway Patrol for six years. He had returned to the police force from WWII only two months before his murder.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 178
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender One shot and killed


Most Recent Reflection

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I heard your name on an episode of Dragnet which was dedicated to you and I looked up your bio. I am a retired Air Force enlisted man and want to thank you for protecting our country and your city.

May God’s grace be upon your family and may they always keep your memory alive as a true American patriot and hero. Thank you for all you did in life. I pray one day to meet you in Heaven. My deepest condolences to all your surviving family!

Chuck McKinley (TSgt, USAF retired)

November 26, 2021

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