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Montana trooper remains hospitalized at Salt Lake hospital

By Marjorie Cortez, KSL | Posted - Mar. 17, 2019 at 8:21 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Montana Highway Patrol trooper flown to University Hospital after he was shot early Friday morning during a manhunt for a shooting suspect remained hospitalized Sunday.

No condition update on Trooper Wade Palmer, 35, was released Sunday by the Montana Department of Justice.

"Trooper Palmer’s family and the entire MHP are beyond grateful for all of the support people are showing, in Montana, Utah and across the country," said John Barnes of the Montana Attorney General’s Office on Sunday.

Law enforcement officers from Montana and Utah have kept a constant vigil at the hospital.

Trooper Palmer’s family and the entire MHP are beyond grateful for all of the support people are showing, in Montana, Utah and across the country.

–John Barnes, Montana Attorney General’s Office

Barnes said Palmer's family had asked for privacy regarding his condition and the attorney general's office is respecting that.

"He continues to receive the best possible treatment. We ask everyone to continue keeping him and his family in their thoughts and prayers," Barnes said.

Palmer has been with the Montana Highway Patrol since 2012 and is stationed in Missoula.

In 2015, he was awarded the agency's highest honor, the Medal of Valor, for his heroic lifesaving efforts at the scene of a multiple-vehicle crash involving a mother and her young children in December 2014. He has a wife and two young children.

According to Montana authorities, another trooper found Palmer shot while still seat-belted in his patrol car. He was transported to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula then later flown to University Hospital.


After an extensive manhunt, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office took the shooting suspect, Jonathan Bertsch, into custody about 6:15 a.m. Friday, according to a press release.

Palmer was one of four people shot in separate but related incidents in the Missoula area late Thursday and early Friday. Two others were wounded and one person was killed.

Bertsch, 28, faces possible charges of deliberate homicide and three of attempted deliberate homicide. He’s being held without bail in the Missoula County Detention Center.

Another of the shooting victims was also flown to University Hospital for treatment.

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