Suspect released in Cold Spring officer shooting caseby Conrad Wilson, Minnesota Public Radio,
Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. — The man accused of killing a Cold Spring police officer last week has been released without being charged.
Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall says there's not enough evidence to charge Ryan Larson, 34, with the murder of police officer Tom Decker.
Larson told the St. Cloud Times on Sunday that police arrested the wrong person.
"Basically, they have no evidence whatsoever that points in my direction," Larson said during a jail phone call to the newspaper.
Decker, 31, was killed Thursday night while on patrol in Cold Spring, a city about 20 miles southwest of St. Cloud in central Minnesota. Police have released few details about the shooting, but they said Decker and another officer made a welfare check at Larson's apartment above Winners Sports Bar and Grill on Main Street that night.
Decker was later shot twice on a nearby street and died at the scene. Larson was arrested about an hour later. On Monday, a judge granted the prosecutor's request to hold Larson for an additional 24 hours.
Kendall, the county attorney, said Larson's arrest "was a logical choice at the time, and now the active investigation is ongoing."
Police have not found the shotgun they believe killed Decker.
"We have a lot of information about what happened that night," Kendall said. "But tying that information to the ability to charge someone with a crime that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt is where we're at right now."
Decker's mother, Rosella Decker, said the family had no comment on Larson's release.
"We have enough with just burying our son and brother," she said. "Nothing will bring him back."
Larson did not return a call on Tuesday seeking comment.
During the 10-minute interview with the St. Cloud Times, Larson said his time on Thursday was filled with school, homework and visiting friends. He said he was asleep when Decker was killed.
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's investigation will continue, said BCA assistant superintendent Drew Evans.
Decker's visitation begins at 4 p.m. in Cold Spring. The funeral will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Saint John's Abbey and University Church in Collegeville.
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- All Things Considered, 12/04/2012, 5:20 p.m.
Conrad Wilson covers central Minnesota from the MPR News bureau in Collegeville.