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$2 million bail set in Montana shooting that injured trooper

March 18, 2019
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Family members of one of the victims in last week's shootings in Missoula and Evaro, sit in Missoula County Justice Court in Missoula, Montana, Monday, March 18, 2019, backed by dozens of law enforcement officers from the Montana Highway Patrol and other jurisdictions, for the initial appearance of Johnathan Bertsch, 28, charged with one count of deliberate homicide and three counts of attempted deliberate homicide. Bertsch killed one man and wounded three others including Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Palmer. (Kurt Wilson/The Missoulian via AP)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A judge set bail at $2 million Monday for a man accused of fatally shooting one person and injuring three, including a Montana Highway Patrol trooper.

The trooper, 35-year-old Wade Palmer, was transferred to a Salt Lake City hospital after he was critically wounded Thursday.

Twenty-eight-year-old Johnathan Bertsch was charged with homicide and attempted homicide. He appeared in court in Missoula on Monday through a video hookup from the jail.

More than 100 law enforcement officers were in the courtroom for the hearing, the Missoulian reported .

Bertsch is accused of opening fire on a pickup Thursday night, killing one person and injuring two. About an hour later, Palmer was shot while investigating the earlier shooting.

His wife, Lindsey Palmer, said Monday she was grateful for messages of support the family has received from across the country.

In a statement, she said community support and aid have been a great comfort and helped the family focus their attention on her husband, a father of two.

Palmer has been a trooper since 2012 and won the law enforcement agency’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, in 2015.

“Wade is an amazing family man, a friend and a trooper,” Montana Highway Patrol Capt. Chad Dever said after Monday’s hearing.

“It’s just been really rough, I don’t know how else to say it. All we can do is pray that he gets better. He’s a fighter and he’s fighting, as expected,” Dever said.

Bertsch was found and arrested the morning after the shooting. He asked for a public defender in Monday’s hearing.

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