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Montana trooper to return home after 9-week recovery

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A Montana Highway Patrol trooper who was wounded in the line of duty spent weeks recovering at University Hospital in Salt Lake City.

After nine weeks, Trooper Wade Palmer will return home and transition to his next phase of care.

Hear from his doctors:

Palmer, 35, was critically injured in Missoula, Montana on March 15. He was shot in the neck, face, and head, after locating the suspect involved in an earlier shooting that injured two and killed one.

He was transported to Saint Patrick Hospital in Montana in critical condition and eventually flown to University Hospital to receive Level I trauma care.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Wade is coming home,” said Montana Highway Patrol Colonel Tom Butler. “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.”

His care team at University of Utah Health, family members, Montana Department of Justice, University Police and Utah Highway Patrol will gather Wednesday morning to celebrate Palmer’s recovery and wish him well as he returns home to his family and life in Montana.

“Wade will be welcomed home to Montana as a hero,” Attorney General Fox said. 

In the following days, Trooper Palmer will begin outpatient therapy as his recovery continues.

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