It was eight years ago on Monday, that Sergeant Bob Heinle of the Missoula Police Department died after being shot in the line of duty in October, 1998.

Missoula Police Spokesman Travis Welsh said Heinle was not just a friend, but an inspiration to all.

“It was on February 12, 2010 that retired Missoula Police Sergeant Bob Heinle passed away unexpectedly due to complications after being shot in the line of duty on October 21, 1998,” Welsh said. “He was an exceptional officer, and one that was taken from us way too soon.”

Welsh said Sergeant Heinle continued to inspire and serve the community even after his wounds made him a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair.

“He just had a lust for life,” Welsh said. “He didn’t let things get him down , he was always very positive, very upbeat, he loved to visit with people. He just continued to be a contributing member of our community until the day of his death.”

The man responsible for Sergeant Heinle’s wounds, and his eventual death from those wounds, is James Martin, who is currently serving life plus 100 years in the Montana State Prison for attempted deliberate homicide in the shooting of Sergeant Heinle in a Missoula parking lot.