Montana Highway Patrol trooper shot near Missoula continues to recover

Posted at 8:58 AM, Apr 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-16 15:02:49-04

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer continues to recover at a hospital in Utah after he was shot in March near Missoula.

Palmer, who was shot in the neck, face, and head on March 15, is showing indications that he recognizes certain people and things, however, all of his interactions remain non-verbal. He continues to interact with hand gestures and facial expressions.

The extent of how much he understands remains unknown, according to the Montana Department of Justice.

Nearly every day, Palmer undergoes physical therapy for continued strengthening of his left arm and leg and limited movement has been detected on his right side.

He is scheduled to have the wiring and screws from his reconstructive jaw surgery removed this week.

“The tasks that you or I take for granted have become much more significant for Wade,” stated Colonel Tom Butler, chief of the Montana Highway Patrol. “His brain is becoming more aware of the sensory input and is relearning how to connect the dots, so to speak.”

Trooper Palmer was shot 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.