The Latest: Victim in Montana shootings dies
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on a Montana trooper shot (all times local):
Montana prosecutors say one of the four victims in two shootings in the Missoula area has died.
Missoula County Chief Deputy Attorney Jason Marks says in court documents filed Friday that Shelley Hayes was killed in the first shooting Thursday night by 29-year-old Johnathan Bertsch.
The documents say Hayes and friend Casey Blanchard were picked up by Blanchard’s mother Julie at a Missoula bar.
Julie Blanchard told investigators they stopped when a Cadillac Escalade flashed its lights at them. Her son got out to see if the driver needed help when shots from an “AR-15 style rifle” were fired.
All three were shot. Hayes was killed.
Prosecutors say Bertsch was the driver. They say he shot and critically wounded a Montana Highway Patrol trooper investigating the first shooting about 1 ½ hours later.
Bertsch has been charged with deliberate homicide and attempted deliberate homicide.
A critically injured Montana Highway Patrol trooper is being flown to Salt Lake City for treatment.
The Missoulian reports a motorcade escorted the vehicle carrying 35-year-old Wade Palmer Friday from a Missoula hospital to the airport.
Highway patrol officials say Palmer was investigating a shooting that injured three people late Thursday night when he was shot in nearby Evaro.
Police arrested 29-year-old Johnathan Bertsch after a manhunt.
Dozens of law enforcement vehicles from different agencies crowded the hospital’s parking lot Friday morning as officers gathered to pay their respects.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said in a statement that he was heartbroken to hear of Palmer’s condition, and Attorney General Tim Fox planned to fly to Utah to meet the trooper and his family.
Authorities say a Montana Highway Patrol trooper is in critical condition after being shot while investigating an earlier shooting in Missoula.
Highway Patrol officials said in a statement Friday another trooper found the wounded 35-year-old Wade Palmer in his patrol car outside a bar in Evaro early Friday.
Patrol officials say Palmer was investigating a vehicle that matched the description of one that had been involved in the late Thursday shooting that injured two men and a woman.
Authorities launched a manhunt that lasted through the night before arresting 29-year-old Johnathan Bertsch before dawn.
Patrol officials say Palmer has been a trooper since 2012. He has a wife and two children, and he won the law enforcement agency’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, in 2015.
Authorities say a Montana Highway Patrol trooper and three other people have been shot and injured in two separate shootings that were related.
The Missoula County sheriff’s office says the man suspected of wounding the trooper and the others was arrested early Friday near the small community of Evaro, where the trooper was shot.
The trooper was among law enforcement officers searching for a man suspected of shooting and injuring two men and a woman in their vehicle late Thursday in Missoula.
The search for the shooter’s vehicle moved northwest of Missoula. Officials said the trooper was shot at a bar in Evaro.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Brenda Bassett did not identify the injured and declined comment on their injuries.
The suspect was identified as 29-year-old Johnathan Bertsch.