MISSOULA - A Montana Highway Patrol trooper showed up to thank the law enforcement officers and MHP staff who assisted him after he was shot several times in an incident in March.
Photos show Trooper Wade Palmer standing with his wife Lindsey at a ceremony in Missoula on Thursday.
Lindsey says her husband has made progress in his speech and his ability to walk while in therapy. In a statement sent via email through the Montana Department of Justice, Lindsey also says her husband can say some words including: yes, no, hi, why, mom, and me. Trooper Palmer is also re-learning to say Mia and CeCe, according to Lindsey.
While Trooper Palmer still needs some help in stabilization, he started using a trekking pole in place of an arm crutch. He is slowly regaining mobility in his right arm, which has been a difficult task.
Trooper Palmer is utilizing a communication app suggested by Craig Hospital in Colorado and it has been useful, according to Lindsey. The two have spent time there for a week-long evaluation and will come back to begin a program that is more rigorous.
"Season’s Greetings from the Palmer family to yours. May your holidays be filled with love, laughter, and many fond memories. We have so many things to be grateful for this year, but the biggest blessing of all is that we are able to provide this update on Wade, and that he is still with us for this holiday season."
Six glass awards from Montana Attorney General Tim Fox were handed out at Monday's ceremony to law enforcement and other staff who played a vital role since the incident.
Wednesday, commemorative coins were handed out to hospital caregivers and staff at St. Patrick in Missoula for their care of Trooper Palmer directly after the shooting.
Montana Highway Patrol Colonel Tom butler saif he questioned whether Palmer would make it when he was being loaded onto the medical plane, and seeing him walk Thursday morning was nothing shy of amazing.
"I'll never forget the conversation I had with the neurologist at St. Pats the night this happened. To see him walking today is amazing all the way around," Butler said.
Palmer and three others were shot in shooting incidents in March in Missoula and Evaro. Shelley Hays died in the shooting. Julie Blanchard and her son Casey Blanchard were also shot that night. Casey is recovering at his home in Stevensville. Julie later died.