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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On 091718 we got a call to a lost/disoriented elderly male. He would provide us minimal information and we assumed he had walked away from a nursing home. With a little investigation after looking in his wallet, we identified him as William Rose. He had spent the last 3 years in a nursing home in Pampa TX. He left the home, took busses to OKC and then Tulsa. His plan was to do harm with his nephew who lives in the Tulsa area. We also found he was charged with the murder of Trooper Steele in 1946. Rose is 96 years old and still being an heartless outlaw. Rose was also convicted of armed robbery and spent time in an Oklahoma prison. It is very frustrating to see this man roaming free while Trooper Steele made the ultimate sacrifice.

Officer Perry Lewis
Tulsa Police Department

September 19, 2018

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