NewsMissoula County


MHP Trooper shot in Evaro remains in medically induced coma

Posted at 8:39 AM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 12:27:52-04
Trooper Wade Palmer
Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer was shot and critically wounded in Evaro on 3.15.19. (MTN News photo)

HELENA – The Montana Highway Patrol Trooper who shot multiple times last week in Evaro remains in extremely critical condition in a Salt Lake City hospital.

The wife of Trooper Wade Palmer, Lindsey says in a statement that, Trooper Palmer — who was shot three times in the head, face and neck — “is stable but his condition is still considered extremely critical.”

Lindsey adds that he remains in a medically induced coma and has not regained consciousness since the early Friday morning shooting.

Meanwhile, authorities are still trying to quell rumors about Trooper Palmer’s condition.

“There have been some false rumors circulating about Trooper Palmer’s condition,” Montana Highway Patrol Chief Tom Butler said. “While we understand that the chatter can arise from a place of genuine concern and goodwill, please understand that when Wade’s friends and relatives see misinformation posted about his condition, it is very upsetting, especially when they have to take the time and energy to dispel the rumors.”

Lindsey Palmer explained in a statement, “Due to the nature and extent of his injuries, it may be some time before we know more about his prognosis.”

“The family asks for the public’s patience and for their understanding that updates will not necessarily be available on a daily basis. We will keep everyone updated as appropriate via the Highway Patrol and Department of Justice,” she added.

“We remain cautiously optimistic that Wade will continue to see steady improvements. We recognize, however, that the overall understanding of these improvements and what they mean in the long run is still evolving and unknown at this time. We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support and prayers for Wade and for us.”

Col. Butler added, “The Highway Patrol has been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement seen in recent days. It is clear the silent majority supports their law enforcement officers. Please continue to keep Trooper Palmer and the Missoula shooting victims in your thoughts and prayers.”

Johnathan Bertsch, 28, has been charged with the shooting of Trooper Palmer and three others in two incidents. One of the victims of the shooting passed away last week.

Bertschwho made his initial court appearance on Monday in Missoula Justice Court, in being held on $2 million bail.

You can click here to donate to a GoFundMe page in support of Trooper Palmer.

Additionally, a benefit for Trooper Palmer will be held on March 30 from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Evaro Bar. It includes a spaghetti dinner, a 50/50 raffle and an auction.