Montana Trooper Shot Three Times In Head, Face And Neck Is Fighting For His Life

Montana Trooper Shot Three Times In Head, Face And Neck Is Fighting For His Life

The wife of Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) Trooper Wade Palmer said that her husband has not regained consciousness since he was shot three times while searching for a gunman on Friday morning.

The suspect, 29-year-old Jonathan Bertsch, also shot three citizens in an earlier “road rage” incident in Missoula, killing one of them, according to court documents.

Multiple agencies joined the massive manhunt for the gunman.

Less than an hour later, at 12:12 a.m., shots rang out on Evaro Hill.


Trooper Palmer radioed dispatch to advise that he was “under fire” near the Evaro Bar on Highway 93, but the dispatcher was subsequently unable to reach him by radio.

“Trooper Alex Hiday was the next officer to arrive on scene,” the MHP said in a press release later that day. “[Trooper] Hiday found [Trooper] Palmer still seat-belted in his patrol car and that he had been shot.”

Bertsch had already fled the scene prior to the trooper’s arrival.

A Missoula County sheriff’s deputy later apprehended the gunman on Grooms Road at 4:24 a.m., after a citizen called 911 to report that a white Escalade was parked in the area.

Trooper Palmer, 35, was airlifted to a hospital in Salt Lake City later in the day.

Trooper Palmer’s family has been constantly surrounded by Montana and Utah law enforcement officers since they arrived at the hospital.


Trooper Palmer’s wife, Lindsey, expressed her appreciation for the outpouring of support in a statement on Monday.

“I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Montana and Utah for all of their support, and to all of the caring people throughout the nation that have offered prayers and positive messages,” she said.

“To all the Brothers & Sisters in Blue, words cannot express the appreciation we have for all that you have done & for reaching out,” Lindsey said. “Knowing that our communities are coming together at our time of need is a great comfort.”


A fundraising campaign established to assist Trooper Palmer and his young family has raised over $150,000. 

We pray for Trooper Palmer and his family, both blood and blue, as they go through this difficult time. Have faith and stay strong!! 




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  • John DeHeer Retired /disabled Chgo Police task force

    we love you and your family brother now your in for the fight of your life so LETS GO Attack your injuries let your Drs do the initial work
    Then we will touch base on rehab, I had 4 brain surgeries hit in head I fought gran mal seizures and more then time to learn to walk with the help
    of my family and friends and prayers Im walking some again Now lets fight together my spirit is with you and prayers

  • Lezlie

    Praying for your husband and your family
    Stay strong

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