New details arise in officer shooting; suspect speaks out


A newly-released document gives a witness account of the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Cold Spring police officer Tom Decker, but leaves more questions unanswered as the investigation continues.

The signed document obtained by the St. Cloud Times indicates that part-time police officer Greg Reiter was the first to respond to the call behind Winner's Bar and Grill on evening of Nov. 29.

Before making contact with 34-year-old Ryan Larson who was believed to be suicidal, Reiter waited in his squad for officer Decker to arrive as backup.

As soon as Decker arrived and got out of his car, Reiter claims to have heard two "loud bangs" and reported seeing a white man, approximately six feet tall, wearing a dark hoodie, jeans and a stocking cap standing in front of Decker's squad pointing a handgun at him.

According to the original document (below), the following events took place next:

"Officer Reiter then put his squad car in reverse, exiting the parking lot to the east. At this time, Officer Reiter could see Officer Decker lying on the ground and the male suspect walking away to the west. Officer Reiter then lost visual contact."

Joe Friedberg, an attorney recently retained by Larson, says the officer's story is contrary to the other details of the case.

"It is counter intuitive that a sworn officer wouldn't immediately leave his squad and chase after a suspect who killed his partner and unload his own weapon at the suspect," Friedberg tells the newspaper.

Friedberg also notes investigators have been asking the public to help find a .20-gauge shotgun believed to be the murder weapon. Reiter's account of what happend said the suspect used a handgun.

Larson has maintained his innocence, claiming he was sleeping in his bed at the time of the shooting. The Sheriff's Office and Stearns County Attorney made no comment.

In an interview with the Star Tribune published Saturday night, Larson also said he just wants to be cleared as a suspect.

"That's the first step I can take in an attempt to get my life back, but I'll never get my life back," Larson told the paper. "I'll never be the person that I was because there's people out there that will always judge me as the person that got away with killing a cop."

More than two weeks after the fatal shooting, police have released very few details on the investigation and no more arrests have been made.

Read the full document below:

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