SARTELL, Minn. -- The last night Officer Tom Decker spent with his four kids was Wednesday.
He was supposed to pick up his children from Becky Decker, his ex-wife, on Friday for the weekend. But he never showed up. Instead the police chiefs of Sartell and Cold Spring did.
"I knew right away it wasn't good," Becky said.
Becky said they sat her down and told her Officer Decker had been shot and killed responding to a call about a suicidal man. Her thoughts immediately went to her kids who were sleeping upstairs. The family is surrounded by loved ones but sometimes that's not enough.
"The worst part of it all is when my daughter Jade said all she wants for Christmas is her daddy," Becky said.
Becky and Officer Decker were married for four years and though they eventually separated remained friends. The two shared custody of the kids. Overnight Becky became the sole caretaker.
Each child is dealing with the loss in their own way, according to Becky. Devon, the youngest at five years old, is quiet. Justin is six and good at keeping his brother busy. Jade, 7, and her sister Kelly, 8, are both mature and watch over their brothers. Each of them wrote their dad a letter which will go in his casket. What Becky doesn't want to bury is how much their father gave.
"He is a true hero to everybody and they're never going to forget it," she said.
There are several ways to help the Decker children. Becky's twin sister, Roxie Knowles, said if anyone wants to help the family out directly to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reseved.)