MISSOULA – It’s a bond only those in local law enforcement can explain. When tragedy hits close to home, it’s the overwhelming amount of support that brings them all together.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers across the state gathered at the Missoula County Courthouse Monday to back their brother, Trooper Wade Palmer, who is currently fighting for his life after being critically wounded in a Friday shooting in Evaro.
Montana Highway Patrol troopers, Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies and multiple other law enforcement agencies filtered into the courtroom.
“It’s just been very difficult,” said MHP Trooper Chad Dever. “Wade is an amazing family man, a friend and a trooper. It’s just been really rough. All we can do is pray. He’s a fighters and he’s fighting as expected, so we are just praying for him.”
As the Utah officers are standing outside Trooper Palmer’s hospital room in Salt Lake City, Montana law enforcement was in the Missoula courtroom in a show of solidarity.
“We are a big family and when this happens, even though Trooper Palmer works for Highway Patrol, we have his back and we’re here to support him and his family through this horrific ordeal,” said Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott.
It’s a bond beyond borders. When Utah highway patrol heard Palmer was air lifted to Salt Lake City, their patrol didn’t hesitate before stepping in to help.
Dever added that the amount of support was no surprise, and it’s just what family does.
“To be honest, we are all very close. It’s just they are like our brothers and sisters down there and they are treating us the same,” Dever said. “We just really appreciate it.”
Several fundraising efforts have been launched since Friday to help the victims in the shooting: