NewsMissoula County


Julie Blanchard death ruled as homicide

Posted at 5:32 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 16:37:28-04

MISSOULA — The official cause of death for a victim in the March shooting that killed two people and critically injured two others including a Montana Highway Patrol trooper.has been ruled a homicide.

The Chelan County Washington coroner reports Julie Blanchard died of complications of multiple gunshot wounds to her chest and her torso.

Coroner Wayne Harris tells MTN News after reviewing medical records from three hospitals where Julie was treated and studying the autopsy, x-rays, tissue samples and blood toxicology test results, the pathologist could only state the cause of death as homicide.

Blanchard died June 3 in a Washington state hospital.

RELATED: MTN Exclusive: Casey Blanchard shares recovery story Missoula shooting

Julie Blanchard, her son Casey Blanchard, and Shelley Hays were shot on March 14 off Expressway Boulevard when they pulled over after noticing a vehicle behind them had their flashing lights on.

That's when prosecutors say the suspect, Johnathan Bertsch, opened fire on them. Shelley Hays died on the scene. Both Casey and Julie Blanchard were transported to the hospital with gunshot wounds

Bertsch was later arrested near Evaro accused of shooting Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer. Both Casey Blanchard and Trooper Palmer continue their recovery at their Stevensville homes.

Her autopsy records have been sent to the Missoula county attorney for their investigation.