Casey Blanchard, one of the victims of a March 14th shooting in Missoula, is coming home.
Blanchard was shot eight times including in the left arm, chest, spine, abdomen, and both legs as he exited his vehicle to check on a motorist who he thought needed assistance.
Blanchard is currently receiving treatment at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City where his doctors have determined he is ready to transition to the next phase of care. He has undergone ten surgeries.
Blanchard and his wife, Leah, will drive home to Montana where they will be met by a Montana Highway Patrol trooper at the Missoula County line who will lead them to Stevensville as a show of continued support for the Blanchard family.
They are anticipated to arrive in Stevensville at approximately 7 p.m. For anybody who wants to show support for the Blanchards, you’re asked to line Brooks Street in Missoula or meet at the Stevensville Wye.
“These past few months, we’ve been surrounded by a strong medical team here at the University of Utah that kept us moving at every hurdle. Although Casey is now a paraplegic and has other limitations, we are both adjusting to this huge change to our lives and we are continuously improving every day,” the Blanchards said.
“We want to thank Casey’s medical team, along with the amazing troopers who let us in with open arms during our stay here. We also want to thank our hometown for all the support, love, and prayers that have been sent our way. We truly couldn’t have come out as strong as we have without you guys,” the Blanchards added.
Attorney General Tim Fox said he can’t recall an incident in recent years in Montana that brought so many people together in support.
“The outpouring of assistance from across Montana and in Salt Lake City on behalf of Casey and his family has been incredible. To the public, to our Montana Highway Patrol, and to Utah’s law enforcement community, I sincerely thank each of you for embracing the Blanchards in their time of need,” Fox said.
Blanchard’s mother, Julie Blanchard, was also injured in the shooting. Shelley Hays, who is remembered as a proud father and friend to everyone, died from his injuries. Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer was also shot. He returned home to Montana on May 22 after recovering for two months in a Utah hospital.
In the days ahead, Blanchard will begin home-based therapy as his recovery continues. While the family is happy to share this news publicly, they also respectfully request privacy as they readjust to life at home, according to the Montana Department of Justice.
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