Questions remain after Cold Spring officer's death

10:40 PM, Dec 1, 2012   |    comments
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Tom Decker

COLD SPRING, Minn. - Officer Tom Decker was shot and killed Thursday night near Winner's Bar on Main Street in Cold Spring.

The bar closed its doors Friday out of respect for Decker.  The business reopened on Saturday.

As people left flowers at a growing memorial for Decker right outside of Winner's, 13 vendors inside the bar sold everything from jeans to bags.

The Stop and Shop Holiday Expo was scheduled weeks ago.

Organizer Jane Kalthoff said, "We were hesitant on whether we were going to keep it or cancel it.  And after a few conversations we decided we were going to keep it open being the vendors were planning on it."

She said, "We're trying to spread some Christmas cheer today."

Spreading cheer is a big task but perhaps needed now more than ever at Winner's Bar.

Cold Spring resident Dan Frantii, whose wife is one of the vendors, said, "You know walking in initially, it was like wow.  It was a tragic event that happened very close to here today."

A few blocks away, Decker's body is guarded around the clock at the Wenner Funeral Home.

The suspect in the officer's shooting death, Ryan Larson, rents an apartment above the bar, and according to the bar owner, Jeff Scoles, had filled in as a bartender.

Scoles and other employees who know the suspect and officer sat in the background Saturday.  They didn't want to go on camera.

Scoles said there are too many questions to which he needs answers.

He did say he would never expect something like this from his Larson.  He said while Larson does have a bit of a temper, he has never known him to drink or use drugs.

Scoles also said he has no idea what motive there would be.

Stearns County Officials were not available for comment Saturday afternoon.

Charges against Larson could be filed on Monday.

If you would like to donate to a fund for Officer Decker's children, click here.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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