By Reg Chapman

COLD SPRING, Minn. (WCCO) — It will be a very tough Christmas for the family of a police officer, killed while on the job.

Officer Tom Decker’s children haven’t stopped crying since getting the news no child should ever hear – that they’ve lost their father.

Decker died Thursday night while responding to a call. A man they went to check on, Ryan Larson, allegedly shot the officer without warning as he got out of his squad. Larson remains in jail.

“It’ll be hard for a while and it’ll be like this for a few weeks,” said ex-wife Becky Decker. “He was a great dad to those kids.”

Becky doesn’t know how the family will cope without their father.

“It’s a roller coaster; one minute they’re having fun and then they break down,” she said.

All four children loved spending time with their Dad. Now Becky has to care for them alone as she and Tom divorced a few years ago. He recently remarried.

“I’ll always be their mother, but now I have to be their dad, too,” she said.

She said Tom has always played a big role in their lives. He remarried a year ago.

Becky said her son, Devin, cries until he passes out from exhaustion. And she said all Jade asks for Christmas is to have her daddy back.

Investigators have yet to locate the murder weapon.

More information is expected Monday, when Larson is expected to be formally charged.

Decker’s Brother Recalls The Man He Called His Hero

“He was easy going and you could talk to him about just about everything,“ said brother Edward Decker.

Edward says it’s hard to put into words how much he misses his younger brother.

“He had a pretty good wit, so you could never get ahead of him,” said Edward Decker.

Edward says life is “different” without his brother and his sense of humor. He’ll remember him a jokester who loved to make people laugh.

“He fit the leadership role in the community. He fit the leadership role in his family as far as his own kids,” Edward said.

Edward added that his brother earned the respect of others and never demanded it, that’s why he was a good police officer, dedicated to serving his community.

“He helped people. That’s what made him like his job so much is the helping people,” Edward said.

Edward says his brother was doing what he did best, trying to help someone, when he was killed.

Now, all they have are pictures and kind words from the people who knew firsthand how helpful Tom was.

“He was a leader and sometimes leaders can lead without saying anything,“ Edward said.

That will be missed most by his four children.

“He showed me that he could discipline his kids without raising your voice. I never ever heard him raise his voice over anything,” said Decker.

Many in this small town, especially his brother, are raising their voices in salute to Officer Tom Decker.
A hero to many, a brother to a few, a loss that will be felt forever.

“I wish he could have stayed a lot longer,” Edward said.

Help The Family Of The Fallen Cold Spring Officer:

Several funds have been set up for those who are interested in helping Officer Tom Decker’s family.

Tom Decker Memorial Fund
State Bank of Cold Spring
PO Box 415 Cold Spring, MN 56320

Tom Decker Memorial Fund
1st National Bank of Cold Spring
PO Box 416 Cold Spring, MN 56320

Tom Decker Memorial Fund
Central Minnesota Credit Union
202 Red River Avenue So. Cold Spring, MN 56320

Tom Decker Memorial Fund
Wells Fargo
All locations


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