Reporting Esme Murphy
COLD SPRING, Minn. (WCCO) – The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says Ryan Larson remains a suspect in the case of a fallen Cold Spring police officer.
On Tuesday, he was released from custody because of a lack of evidence.
And on Wednesday, he sent a text message to WCCO saying he is innocent, but adding that more than anything, Wednesday should be about the funeral of fallen officer Tom Decker.
Larson lives in an apartment right above the parking lot of Winners Bar, the location where a fatal shooting to place, taking the life of Decker less than a week ago.
Larson said he knew officer Decker, that he had met him several times. Larson declined to do an on-camera interview because he did not want anything he said to overshadow officer Decker’s funeral.
The following is Larson’s text to WCCO in full.
“I was not raised to be a selfish enough man to over-shadow the fact that a good courageous man gave his life in the line of duty … Tommy Decker was a good man and his life needs to be honored today. In the days ahead I will likely speak. Until then my thoughts and prayers are for Tommy Decker and his family.”
Earlier this week, Larson had told the St. Cloud Times, “They’re looking at the wrong guy. I’m always there to help people not to harm people or hurt people.”
Sources tell WCCO that there is no physical evidence that connects Larson with the murder and some investigators are convinced the real killer fled the scene in the chaos after the shooting.
And that has residents like Jerene Hersing frightened.
“It’s scary to think there is a cop killer running around,” she said.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that Decker may have unintentionally interrupted a drug deal. There have been several major drug arrests and seizures in Cold Spring recently, including the discovery of pounds of cocaine hidden in a palate in a Cold Spring area warehouse on July 16.
The murder weapon has yet to be recovered, which police believe to be a 20-gauge shotgun.