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October 25, 2014

Thousands of mourners honor fallen officer

Residents of Cold Spring, Minn., and law enforcement officers from around the state have gathered for the funeral of slain Police Officer Tom Decker.

The funeral began at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville. As many as 3,000 were expected to attend and line a funeral procession, including numerous police officers from Minnesota and around the country, MPR reports. Gov. Mark Dayton, who planned to attend, ordered flags to be flown at half-staff Wednesday, MPR says.

Hundreds stood in line to get into St. Boniface Catholic Church Tuesday for a visitation to pay respects to the officer who was killed last week in what investigators called an ambush. Decker, 31, a father of four, had responded to a call to help a suicidal man Thursday, Fox 9 reports.

Meanwhile Tuesday, the suspect who had been held in the shooting, Ryan Larson, was released due to insufficient evidence. The Stearns County attorney said investigators had not gathered enough to charge Larson. He remains a suspect as the investigation continues, a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension official told the Star Tribune.

Larson gave an interview to the St. Cloud Times saying he was innocent.