Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer will return home to Montana on Wednesday after several months of care in Utah following his near-fatal shooting.
Palmer is currently receiving treatment at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, where doctors have determined he is ready to transition to the next phase of care.
In a news release Tuesday morning, the Highway Patrol said Palmer will be flown to Missoula and is expected to arrive at Northstar Jet at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
A motorcade will escort Palmer to his home in Stevensville. Welcome home processions are planned in Missoula and Stevensville.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Wade is coming home,” Col. Tom Butler said in a written statement. “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.”
“Wade will be welcomed home to Montana as a hero,” Attorney General Fox said. “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.”
Palmer was shot in the neck, face, and head on March 15, after locating the suspect involved in an earlier shooting that injured two and killed one in Missoula. He was taken to St. Patrick Hospital in critical condition and eventually flown to Salt Lake City to receive Level I trauma care.
Following his return to Montana, Palmer will begin outpatient therapy as his recovery continues.
“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,” the Highway Patrol said.
The public is invited to view Wednesday afternoon’s procession through Missoula, along Broadway between Reserve Street and St. Patrick Hospital.
Here is the timeline:
1:45 p.m. — Trooper Palmer’s flight arrives Missoula at Northstar hangar.
2:00 p.m. — Transit through Missoula with escort. The public is invited to view the procession along Broadway St. between Reserve St. and McCormick St.
Palmer will also have a procession in his hometown of Stevensville.
2:20 p.m. — Transit to Stevensville
Citizens are invited to stand on the pedestrian path between Highway 93 and Stevensville Cutoff Road into Stevensville.
Vehicles are not allowed on the pedestrian path or parked on the side of road. Parking is available at Super 1 Foods, Stevensville River Fishing Access Site and downtown Stevensville.
MHP is encouraging people to wear green to support Palmer along both the Missoula and Stevensville routes.