MISSOULA – The Montana Highway Patrol trooper who was shot in the Evaro area early Friday morning is in critical condition.
MHP reports that Trooper Wade Palmer was found shot while still seat belted in his cruiser by Trooper Alex Hiday, who was the next officer to arrive on the scene.
According to MHP, Hiday and a Missoula Police Department officer transported Palmer to an ambulance at the intersection of Highway 93 and Interstate 90.
Palmer had found a vehicle believed to have been involved in two overnight shootings near the Evaro Bar.
A suspect in the Evaro shooting — who has been connected to late Thursday night shooting in Missoula — was arrested after an hours-long search.
The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office reports that at approximately 6:15 a.m. Johnathan Bertsch was taken into custody in the 16000 block of Thornburg Way in the Evaro area without incident.
- MHP Trooper shot in Evaro area, search for suspect continues
- Overnight shootings lead to injuries and confusion in Missoula
Missoula Police Department spokesman Sgt. Travis Welsh says that three people were shot and injured in the Missoula incident on Expressway.
All three people were taken to the hospital following the incident. Initial reports indicated that two people had been shot.
The Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation and Missoula County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the shooting incident.
Palmer has been with the Patrol since 2012 and was awarded the Montana Highway Patrol’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, for his heroic lifesaving efforts at the scene of a multiple-vehicle crash involving a mother and her young children in Dec. 2014.
Trooper Palmer has a wife and two young children.
We will have more information on this developing story as it becomes available.