News & Features

Retiring Montana State Trooper Awarded Medal of Valor

State Trooper Wade Palmer was shot in the neck, face and head after engaging a suspect involved in an earlier shooting in Missoula

HELENA – A Montana highway patrol officer retired Monday, more than a year after being shot on the job, according to a news release from the state’s Department of Justice.

On March 15, 2019, State Trooper Wade Palmer was shot in the neck, face and head after engaging a suspect involved in an earlier shooting in Missoula which injured two and killed one. Jonathan Bertsch pleaded guilty to the shootings in June and will be sentenced in August.

Palmer received a medical retirement from the agency. He was given the Montana Highway Patrol’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, as a part of his retirement ceremony.

“Wade’s road to recovery has been a remarkable lesson in faith and perseverance for all Montanans,” Attorney General Tim Fox said in a statement. “The safety and blessings we enjoy today are made possible by the courage and sacrifice of first responders like Wade. On behalf of the Montana Department of Justice, we wish the Palmer family the very best as they focus on continued healing during this next chapter of their lives.”