UPDATE--11:30 a.m.

Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh has updated the information provided about the three individuals who were in the vehicle on Airway Boulevard. Welsh says there were three people in the vehicle and all three suffered gunshot wounds, two males and one female. All three were transported to a local hospital where their condition is unknown.

The Highway Patrol trooper who was wounded has been identified as Wade Palmer of Missoula. He is listed in critical condition at St. Patrick Hospital. In 2015, he was awarded the Patrol’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, for his heroic lifesaving efforts at the scene of a multiple-vehicle crash involving a mother and her young children in December 2014. Trooper Palmer has a wife and two young children

UPDATE---6:31 a.m.

Missoula County Sheriff's deputies apprehended the suspect involved in two shooting incidents late Thursday night. Public Information Officer Brenda Bassett said the suspect was apprehended without incident.

"At approximately 6:15 Friday morning we were able to take 29 year-old Jonathan Bertsch into custody without incident," said Bassett. "In the 16000 block of Thornburg Lane in the area where the search had been going on all night. We were able to take him into custody without incident and now our deputies can go home to their families and we are asking for prayers for the wounded Montana Highway Patrol trooper."

The trooper is being treated at Missoula's St. Patrick Hospital.


Missoula Police and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office are investigating two  shooting incidents, one on Airway Boulevard and another at on Grooms Road.

Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh said the initial call came in at 10:53 p.m. Thursday night.

“We had a report at 10:53 P.M. that there had been gunshots between two vehicles at the Airway Boulevard location,” said Welsh. “One vehicle had left the scene and there were at least two victims of gunshot wounds at the scene. We responded here and two males were transported to St. Patrick Hospital and I don’t know what their status is.”

Welsh said the other vehicle fled the scene.

“There was a third passenger from the vehicle that the first two came from that we are speaking with now,” he said. “The other vehicle left the scene and is believed to be involved in the incident that occurred in Evaro. The only description we have of that vehicle is that is may have been a white Chevy Suburban.”

At that point, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office joined in the search, according to Public Information Officer Brenda Bassett who said there was an officer involved shooting at the Evaro Bar, but did not reveal the law enforcement agency involved.

“There was an officer involved shooting, but right now, what we’re stressing is there is at least one suspect on the lose,” said Bassett. “We’re asking people in the Evaro area and even beyond that to lock their doors and to be diligent about protecting their homes and their property, knowing there is a suspect on the loose right now.”

Bassett said Highway 93 North is closed between Grooms Road and Waldo as the search for an armed suspect is underway.

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell said his department is helping with the search for the suspect or suspects in the Evaro area.


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