THREE FORKS (AP) — Seven months after a Montana Highway Patrol trooper was killed in the line of duty, state and local officials dedicated a stretch of highway near Three Forks in his honor.
Hundreds of people watched Thursday as signs were unveiled marking the four-mile stretch of state Highway 2 near Three Forks as Trooper David J. DeLaittre Memorial Highway.
DeLaittre was 23 when he was shot on Dec. 1 by 56-year-old Errol Brent Bouldin during a traffic stop. Bouldin was found dead several hours later of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"It's important to remember," Montana Highway Patrol Col Michael Tooley said of the shooting. "A young man named David DeLaittre, who lived and died near here, fought on behalf of you and I in the name of law and order."
Gov. Brian Schweitzer said: "Today, we will honor not just David, but all of the law enforcement in Montana."
DeLaittre's father, retired trooper Denny DeLaittre, is also creating a memorial park near the spot where his son was shot.
"Every day I think about him, and I tell him I'm going to be strong for him, for his sisters, for his mother. And it's not always easy, but I have to be there for him," Denny DeLaittre said
Gallatin County Sheriff's Chaplain Warren Hiebert closed the ceremony by urging those in attendance to honor DeLaittre's life by serving friends and neighbors.
"We're on sacred ground," Hiebert said. "He was a special hero."