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Montana Highway Patrol trooper shot near Missoula regains consciousness

Posted at 1:31 PM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 20:20:16-04

HELENA – Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer has regained consciousness after being shot three times on March 15 near Missoula.

Montana Department of Justice spokesman John Barnes reported Trooper Palmer’s medical status has improved from critical to stable condition and he has been moved from the University of Utah Hospital’s Neurological Critical Care Unit to the Neuro Acute Care Unit.

All of his interactions have been non-verbal, but he has shown recognition of certain people and commands. He is scheduled for reconstructive surgery for jaw injuries on Thursday, according to a news release.

“We are immensely grateful for Trooper Palmer’s progress,” said Colonel Tom Butler, chief of the Montana Highway Patrol. “We remain hopeful as we see Wade continue to heal and make positive strides, however, we are fully aware that he has a long journey ahead of him.”

“We will be with him and his family every step of the way and we thank the public for their continued support and prayers.”

Trooper Palmer was shot in the neck, face, and head, after locating the suspect involved in an earlier shooting that injured two and killed one in Missoula.

He was transported to Saint Patrick Hospital in critical condition and eventually flown to Salt Lake City where he continues to be treated.

-Reported by Mark Thorsell/MTN News