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Montana Highway Patrol trooper was shot in head, remains in critical but stable condition

Posted at 4:02 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:48-04


BILLINGS- A Montana Highway Patrol trooper remains in critical condition but is stable with an injury to his head.

It’s the first update on Trooper Wade Palmer since he was flown to Salt Lake City for care late last week.

Palmer 35, was shot by Johnathan Bertsch early Friday morning, prosecutors say. Bertsch is facing one count of deliberate homicide for the death of Shelley Hayes and three counts of attempted deliberate homicide for shooting Palmer and two others.

Bertsch’s bond was set at $2 million Monday.

MTN spoke with Montana Highway Patrol Colonel Tom Bulter, who said Palmer’s condition is listed as critical but stable as of Monday.

Butler said that Palmer will likely have a long, slow road of recovery ahead.

Palmer was air-lifted to Salt Lake City where Butler also said the hospital is specialized in these types of injuries. Its a much larger facility, with more staff Butler, said.

Butler expects to release more information about Palmer’s condition Wednesday.

He continues to receive care in Utah.