Do they have any evidence that this man is involved?

Suspect in death of Cold Spring police officer is released

Stearns County prosecutors have released Ryan Michael Larson without charges in the shooting of Cold Spring police officer Tom Decker. Authorities determined there was not sufficient evidence to charge Larson, 34, who had been held in the Stearns County jail since midnight Thursday on suspicion of murder. Larson was released from custody Tuesday pending further investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.
Comment: Lawyer speaking on Kare11 news tonight .... asked this question - Do they have any evidence that this man is involved?


  1. 12/5 Update: Suspect in Cold Spring officer's slaying released:

    Ryan Michael Larson, the reportedly suicidal man Decker and his partner were sent to check on Thursday night, was released after investigators concluded they didn't have enough evidence to charge him in Decker's death.

    "Some of these are close calls; this one is not," Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall said, explaining her decision to cut Larson loose.

  2. 12/15 update: Slain Cold Spring officer's partner backed away

    The officer who was on a call with Cold Spring police officer Thomas Decker when he was killed in late November didn't leave his squad car in the seconds after the shooting and didn't aid Decker or pursue the shooter as he walked away, according to a document that was used to justify jailing a now-released suspect.

    In the moments after the killing, officer Greg Reiter, a licensed police officer working part-time for the Cold Spring department, put his car into reverse and backed eastward away from the handgun-wielding shooter, the document said, adding that the shooter walked west.

    "Officer Reiter then lost visual contact," the document said.

    Reiter, 39, who lives in St. Joseph and runs a drywall business in addition to police work, did not answer his door Friday and did not respond to messages left by note, telephone and social media.

    Sources have said the officer may have "froze" instead of pursuing the killer and has not been able to recount many details of what happened the night of Nov. 29 in an alley behind a sports bar in downtown Cold Spring. One source close to the investigation said this week that the officer's incomplete recollections had been a "critical roadblock" to solving the case.

  3. Update on 12/16: Prime suspect in cop's killing proclaims his innocence

    Comment: Interesting:

    Larson's fear has morphed to frustration and anger as he believes he was made a scapegoat for shoddy police work. He claims he would have to be "Superman" to perform what police are accusing him of: Shooting Decker behind Winners Bar, ditching the weapon, cleaning up and returning to his apartment above the crime scene without notice as police swarmed the area.

    "I did not kill Tom Decker. As I've stated before and my story is not gonna change, I was in bed sleeping when I found that all this happened. I did not hear anything, nor did anyone in the bar downstairs. I don't know why I've been put in this limelight, but I was forced into it."

    In an interview Friday, Larson spoke in detail about what happened Nov. 29, the night of Decker's slaying, on the heels of a document that revealed an account by Decker's partner, part-time officer Greg Reiter, of what happened -- namely, how he saw a man pointing a handgun, although Decker died from a shotgun blast to the head. On the night of the shooting, officers were looking for a suspect armed with a handgun and found a handgun next to Larson when he was arrested.

    Larson said authorities, who immediately tested and found no evidence of gunshot residue on his hands or clothing, have nothing on him, yet they have not eliminated him as the possible killer.

    "I just want to be cleared as a suspect. That's the first step I can take in an attempt to get my life back, but I'll never get my life back," he said. "I'll never be the person that I was because there's people out there that will always judge me as the person that got away with killing a cop."

  4. Case closed? (1/4/13): Man questioned in killing of Decker hangs himself in standoff

    A 31-year-old man wanted for questioning in the killing of Cold Spring officer Thomas Decker killed himself Wednesday after an hours-long standoff with law enforcement at his home near the central Minnesota city, officials said Friday.

    Eric J. Thomes, described by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) as a “person of interest” was found hanged in a metal building near his rural Cold Spring home. Thomes ran into the building when he saw investigators arrive for another interview, the BCA added.

    Authorities also said that the shotgun used to kill Decker on Nov. 29 was found at another property that Thomes would have had access to.

  5. 1/4/13: Will to cops apologize to Larson and reimburse him for trashing his apartment?

    Larson returns to Cold Spring apartment

    After discussing the situation with his lawyer, they invited the St. Cloud Times on Monday to view the apartment.

    “We both agreed the public have to see this,” he said.

    He made the visit with the intent of collecting clothing and school work. Larson was a student at St. Cloud Technical & Community College.

    “But I can’t even find anything,” he said. “Just the sheer disrespect for somebody’s personal property. It disgusts me.

    “I was irritated. I was confused before, now I’m mad,” he said. “To turn it upside down like this. This isn’t an investigation.”

    Among the piles were family photos, school books, assignments and projects. Possessions were strewn about, at times not in the original room in which they had been kept. His bedding was in the kitchen area. Carpet was pulled from floorboards and left in an adjoining room.

    “They were clearly looking hard for something they weren’t finding,” he said.


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