The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

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
  • Injured snowy owl ready to be released ST. PAUL (AP) — A rare snowy owl that gained national attention when it was apparently hit by a bus in the nation's capital is scheduled to be released into the wild after a rehab stint in Minnesota. The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota

    April 18, 2014

  • Court case to test 'Buy the Farm' law NEW PRAGUE (AP) — A case set for trial next week is expected to test Minnesota's "Buy the Farm" law, which is meant to require utilities building high-voltage power lines to buy out farms in the way if affected landowners demand it. The case pits th

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge strikes down part of state energy law MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that part of a Minnesota law designed to promote the use of renewable energy is unconstitutional because it attempts to control business that takes place outside state borders — and she barred Minnesota

    April 18, 2014

  • White House updating online privacy policy A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tribut

    April 18, 2014

  • Horse virus cases showing up in Upper Midwest BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State officials in the Upper Midwest are cautioning horse owners about a virus that spreads easily among the animals and can lead to breathing problems, abortions and nervous system disorders. Three cases of equine herpesvirus

    April 18, 2014

  • Bear attacks spark debate: Kill them, or leave them alone? ORLANDO, Fla.—Dallas Smith thinks he has the answer to Central Florida’s black-bear threat, and he’s ready to lock and load it. “I think the fear of God needs to be put back into them,” said Smith, 47, who wants state authorities to lift restriction

    April 18, 2014

  • Tourism push plays up 'Only in Minnesota' ST. PAUL — (AP) — Say goodbye to "More to Explore." Minnesota tourism promoters ushered in a new slogan Thursday that focuses on "Only in Minnesota" experiences as part of their largest-ever advertising campaign. The revamped message kicks off a maj

    April 17, 2014

  • mfp ap pipeline photo Minnesota Pipe Line seeks to expand capacity MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Pipe Line Co. announced plans Thursday to nearly double the capacity of a crude oil pipeline that carries oil from Canada and North Dakota to the two refineries in the Twin Cities that produce most of Minnesota's and much

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holder asserts his commitment to fighting heroin WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been crusading for more lenient treatment for nonviolent drug offenders, making it a top priority before he is expected to leave office this year. Recently, however, he has been forced to confront

    April 17, 2014

  • Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds ATLANTA — Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her speech, but she

    April 17, 2014