MISSOULA – A Montana Highway Patrol trooper remains in a medically induced coma after he was shot in the line of duty on March 15.
Trooper Wade Palmer was wounded in the second of two shootings that happened west of Missoula.
He is fighting for his life at a Salt Lake City hospital. Palmer remains in extremely critical, but stable condition after he was shot multiple times the head, neck, and face. He has not regained consciousness since that shooting.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox — who is back in the state after flying to Utah just hours after the shooting — told MTN News that he was able to let his trooper know he was there.
“I was able to kneel and pray, his wife allowed me to do that. I was able to stand with him and hold his hand. And I sat outside his hospital room for long hours,” Fox recalled.
As attorney general, Fox is the top law enforcement officer in the state. He knows officers can and do confront dangers every day while on duty. And when an officer is hurt, he feels it deeply.
“You know, I get to work with law enforcement every day and it’s an incredible honor. And it’s fortunate in Montana that we have the best of the best. But we have to realize that these are difficult jobs and it takes a unique individual to be in public service to begin with, to give themselves,” Fox said.
“Someone who is willing to run to danger to help protect others — and that’s what Trooper Palmer was doing. He heard a report of a shooting, he was out looking for the alleged shooter so no one else would get hurt,” he added.
Fox says any medical updates on Trooper Palmer will come from Palmer’s wife, Lindsey. He also told us the family is aware of all the love and support for their family and are grateful for it.
Story by Mark Thorsell