MISSOULA- There’s sone encouraging news to report on the two surviving victims of a March crime spree in Missoula where two people died and a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper was shot in the head.
A suspect is accused of opening fire on a vehicle with three people inside near Expressway in Missoula. The shooting Killed Shelley Hays — who was a passenger — and critically wounded Casey Blanchard and
his mother Julie.
A short time later, Trooper Wade Palmer came under fire while searching for the shooting suspect on Evaro Hill. He suffered gunshot wounds to his head, face and neck.
Trooper Palmer’s wife Lindsey says that Wade continues to make progress in his recovery. He recently returned to Salt Lake City for surgery on his skull.
“Wade continues to make progress in his recovery. We returned to Salt Lake City on June 17 so he could undergo a cranioplasty procedure. The surgery went well and Wade is much happier since its completion, especially since he no longer has to wear his helmet everywhere he goes. Under the care of wonderful therapists, Wade is making progress in his outpatient therapy at St. Patrick’s in Missoula. He remains nonverbal at this time but continues to make improvements in other forms of communication. Once again we want to thank the communities for all of the support and compassion we have received. We ask for prayers and privacy as we continue to search for our new normal.” – Lindsey Palmer
The other surviving victim in that March attack is Casey Blanchard who was shot several times. His wife, Leah says he’s making astonishing progress with the help of in-home care. He’ll also soon begin outpatient physical therapy, followed by minor surgeries for shrapnel.
Leah says that Casey is beginning to move himself and getting into a new home routine with his family.
“Casey is making astonishing progress with the help of in-home care. In a few weeks he will begin outpatient physical therapy, followed by minor surgeries for shrapnel. He will remain home for the duration of his healing. Casey is beginning to move himself and getting into a new home routine with his family, including dressing, cooking, finding new ways to help with kids, etc. It feels like so much time has passed since this tragedy hit our family, but we still have a long way to go. Our emotional struggles intensified after Casey’s mother, Julie Blanchard, passed away, but Casey is strong and has shown his ability to overcome whatever arises in his path. Julie’s Celebration of Life is scheduled for July 28 at 2pm at the Lumberjack Saloon in Lolo. Our family is grateful to our hometown for helping in every way possible. The support has only made our settling in that much easier.”- Leah Blanchard