The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 30, 2012

Police officer killed in Cold Spring, near St. Cloud

COLD SPRING — The Cold Spring officer shot and killed Thursday has been identified as Tom Decker, according to Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner.

The Rev. Cletus Connors of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Cold Spring said he met with the family last night and he has known the officer for years.

“He was a nice young person. Always sincere and the type of guy who always wanted to do what was right. He would give everybody the benefit of the doubt,” Connor said.

Decker had been a police officer for Cold Spring and Richmond since 2006. He is Rocori High School graduate.

“I don’t know anyone who would command more respect in the town,” Connors said.

His father is John Decker, a farmer in St. Nicholas, Connors said.

Decker has served as a police officer in Isle, Watkins and Kimball, according to the police department’s Web site.

The officer was shot and killed late Thursday when he was trying to do a welfare check, Stearns County Chief Deputy Bruce Bechtold said during an early morning news conference today.

The shooting and the subsequent hunt for the suspect shut down much of downtown Cold Spring late Thursday. Ryan Michael Larson, 34, of Cold Spring was arrested and is in Stearns County Jail.

Officers responded to the scene about 11 p.m. Thursday. A police perimeter was set up around much of downtown during the search for the suspect, and a helicopter hovered overhead.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension lab is processing the scene, Bechtold said.

Multiple police agencies were called to help with the investigation.

Bechtold said the last Stearns County officer who was killed in the line of duty was St. Joseph officer Brian Klinefelter in 1996. Klinefelter was shot while attempting to arrest three suspects who had robbed a liquor store.

Reporters Eric Stromgren, Kevin Allenspach and Kari Petrie contributed to this report.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • 1 hurt in fiery Twin Cities interstate crash ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say one person was hurt in a fiery crash involving four vehicles on a Twin Cities interstate. The crash on Interstate 35 brought morning traffic to a halt during a rainy commute. The Minnesota State Patrol says a

    July 25, 2014

  • Black box found at Air Algerie wreckage site PARIS (AP) — French soldiers recovered a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, officials said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason f

    July 25, 2014

  • Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east. Ukrainian forces are trying to close in

    July 25, 2014

  • Deal still elusive for Gaza cease-fire CAIRO (AP) — Turbulent negotiations to broker a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip are continuing against the backdrop of fresh Israeli attacks on Palestinian militants. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met twice Friday in Cairo with U.N. chief Ban

    July 25, 2014

  • Transcript shows concerns during Arizona execution FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent — and unusual — request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't seem to be workin

    July 25, 2014

  • Sniper-Author-Ventura [Duplicate] Day 3 of deliberations ends in Ventura lawsuit Jury has deliberated 19 hours

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man accused of stealing from group HASTINGS (AP) — An Apple Valley man is charged with five counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $113,000 from a Rosemount youth athletics group. Sixty-two-year-old Robert Steven Reischauer was the former finance manager of the Rosemount Ar

    July 24, 2014

  • Sanders offers lower-cost bill to reform VA Bill would allow vets to go to private doctors

    July 24, 2014

  • Wetland Loss [Duplicate] Report says Prairie Pothole region losing wetlands BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal officials and conservationists say a recent report detailing wetland losses in the five-state Prairie Pothole Region over the past decade highlights the need for increased protection for the region that provides breeding

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, the plane's owner and a French government official said. Air navigation services lost

    July 24, 2014