Suspected shooter of Cold Springs officer released

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By Sarah Barchus

The suspected shooter in the death of a Cold Springs police officer was released Tuesday due to a lack of evidence, the Pioneer Press reported.

Ryan Larson, 34, was released from the Stearns County jail where he had been held since midnight Thursday under suspicion of shooting Officer Tom Decker, 31, the Star Tribune reported.

Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall said that all agencies agreed that more evidence was needed to continue holding Larson, the Star Tribune reported.

"Our agencies have reviewed the investigative data collected thus far and must act within the time allotted by law, within the constraints of the law, and based upon the facts known at this time," Kendall said, the Star Tribune reported.

Decker was making a welfare check on Larson at the request of Larson's family, who were concerned Larson was suicidal, when police think he was ambushed and shot below Larson's apartment, Evans said, the Pioneer Press reported.

Jeff Scoles a friend of Larson's said he was with Larson most of the day at the Scoles's Winners bar in Sartell while he worked and Larson did homework, the Star Tribune reported.

"He was normal," Scoles said. "In fact, I thought he seemed like he was in was in a good mood."

Larson said he was sleeping at the time and that police arrested the wrong person, the Star Tribune reported.

"Basically, they have no evidence whatsoever that points in my direction," Larson said to the St. Cloud Times on Sunday. He said, "They have no gun, they have no fingerprints, they have nothing," the Star Tribune reported.

Police are still looking for a 20-gauge shotgun that they believe to be the murder weapon. Anyone with information is urged to call the Stearns County Sheriff's Office at 30-251-4240, the Star Tribune reported.

"Investigators will not rest until we fully determine what happened the night of Officer Decker's death and bring to account those responsible, "Drew Evans, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Assistant Superintendent, said, the Pioneer Press reported.

Decker left behind four children under 9 years old. His funeral is scheduled for at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. John's Abbey and University Church in Collegeville, the Pioneer Press reported.

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This page contains a single entry by barch009 published on December 4, 2012 1:39 PM.

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