On February 12, 2010, retired MPD Sergeant Robert Heinle passed away unexpectedly due to complications from being shot in the line of duty on October 21, 1998. Bob was 38-years-old when he was shot and passed away two days after his 47th birthday. Bob survived the shooting, but he was paralyzed from the shoulders down. He and his wife, Lisa, went on to spend the next 11 years living life to the fullest.

“I don’t know how we would have made it through it without the love, support, consideration, and compassion of everyone around us,” Lisa said. “It definitely took a village, literally, to get us through it. Through time, you find it normal and move forward. Fortunately, I had a great partner and he always looked at life as a glass half full, not half empty.”

Shortly after Bob passed away, Lisa decided to start the I Run For Bob Foundation so that they could help other families in need.

“We purchase adaptive recreation equipment for others with limited mobility,” Lisa said. “What we learned through our experience was that adaptive equipment is extremely expensive and insurance companies don’t typically recognize it as medically necessary. It is so important for your quality of life so you are able to participate and recreate with your friends and family, find some sense of normalcy with the things you had done before you were injured or a new hobby that you’ve discovered since an injury.”

According to Lisa, they host an annual poker tournament to raise money for purchasing adaptive recreational equipment because Bob loved playing poker with his friends. The 10th annual tournament is March 7th at the Silver Slipper in Missoula and it could be their last one ever. Folks can register right here. All proceeds benefit the I Run For Bob Foundation.

On the 12th of February as well as on the 21st of October, please take a moment to remember Bob and his family, and all the officers who were changed by this tragic event.