Now that Eric Thomes, who authorities describe as a “person of interest” in the murder of officer Tom Decker, is dead we may never know exactly what happened Nov. 29 outside Winners Bar in Cold Spring, Minn. For officer Decker’s family, his friends, and for the people of Cold Spring — there will likely always be questions.

From Decker’s partner, who put his car in reverse and left the scene after the shooting, to law enforcement’s focus on Ryan Larson — the night of the murder will always carry with it questions about the handling of the investigation in its early hours. Larson was arrested and then released for a lack of evidence.

The BCA and the Stearns Co. Sheriff’s Department continue to refuse to clear Larson outright, despite the fact they have the murder weapon, which was found at a property Thomes, not Larson, had access to.

Four days after Larson was released, on Dec. 8, Cold Spring police arrested Thomes for a DWI offense.

But Thomes only became the focus of the investigation after a tip in response to a $100,000 reward. Decker was shot at point-blank range in a packed parking lot under a bright parking lot light, yet no one has come forward to say they witnessed the shooting.

While we may never know all the answers to the why and how of what happened, the public, and certainly officer Decker’s family, deserves to know anything that does come to light as law enforcement continues their investigation.


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