Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer got an incredible welcome from the community last week as he returned to his home in Stevensville from the Salt Lake City hospital where he has been receiving care after being shot in the line of duty. On March 15, Palmer was shot in the neck, face and head after locating a suspect in an earlier shooting that injured two people and killed one person in Missoula. He was transported to St. Patrick Hospital in critical condition and eventually flown to Salt Lake City to receive Level I trauma care.
Palmer was met in Missoula on Wednesday by Highway Patrol command staff and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox before being escorted through town by motorcade to Stevensville where law enforcement from every agency in the valley showed up along with large numbers of community members who lined the roadway along the procession route all along the way.
“On behalf of the Highway Patrol, the Department of Justice, and the entire Montana law enforcement community, I want to again share my profound thanks to all who have supported Wade and his family in ways large and small, seen and unseen. Let us all keep the other victims of that fateful March night in our thoughts and prayers as they continue to receive medical care,” said Fox.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Wade is coming home,” said Colonel Tom Butler. “From the very beginning, he has received the best possible medical care and I know that it saved his life. Words cannot express my gratitude to all of the health care providers in Missoula and Salt Lake City who have cared for him during these past two months. Wade has a long road ahead, but I am glad that he will be traveling that road here in Montana with his family, friends, and fellow troopers at his side.”
While Palmer has as yet been unable to speak, Butler said that when they walked out of the hospital in Utah, Palmer was “smiling from ear to ear, he knew he was going home.” He said the care that Palmer received in Salt Lake City was incredible and that from the time he entered the hospital he has made great strides in his recovery.
Attorney General Fox said, “Wade is home, but he has a long slog ahead of him. He’s going to have very serious difficulties going on.”
“While the family is happy to share this news with the public, they also respectfully request privacy as they return and adjust to life back at home,” said Fox.
Everyone involved had high praise for Palmer’s wife Lindsey, commenting on the strength and stamina that she has shown in dealing with the tragedy.