Critically injured Montana trooper flown to Salt Lake City hospital after shooting

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer. Photo: MHP. Map: Google

MISSOULA, Montana, March 15, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Montana Highway Patrol trooper has been flown to a Salt Lake City hospital for treatment after being shot on duty early Friday morning.

The victim has been identified as Trooper Wade Palmer, 35 and employed by the MHP since 2012.

According to a news release, Palmer located a vehicle matching the description of one involved in the shooting of two men and a woman late Thursday night.

Palmer spotted it near the Evaro Bar & Casino, 17025 U.S. Route 93, Missoula.

“Trooper Alex Hiday was the next officer to arrive on scene,” the MHP statement says.

“Hiday found Palmer still seat-belted in his patrol car and that he had been shot. The suspect had fled the scene.”

Hiday and a Missoula Police Department officer transported Palmer to an ambulance at the intersection of US-93 and Interstate 90. Palmer, in critical condition, was taken to St. Patrick Hospital.

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After an extensive manhunt, suspect Jonathan Bertsch, 29, was located and taken into custody at 6:15 a.m., the MHP statement says.

A MHP tweet posted at about 2:30 p.m. Utah time on Thursday revealed that Palmer had been transported to a hospital in Salt Lake City for treatment.

He was taken to University of Utah Hospital.

A subsequent tweet linked to a GoFundMe account set up to help with bills for Palmer’s family.

“Trooper Wade Palmer was shot in the early morning hours of March 15th, 2019 near Evaro, Montana after locating a suspected vehicle matching the description of one involved in an earlier shooting in Missoula,” the page says.

“He was transported to a Missoula hospital before being airlifted to Salt Lake City in critical condition. Trooper Palmer has a wife and two children. This fund will raise money for expenses that his family incurs while he recovers from his injuries.”

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer. Photo: MHP

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