Minn. police officer killed during routine check

Published On: Nov 30 2012 08:28:17 AM CST   Updated On: Nov 30 2012 10:30:16 AM CST
Police lights file
COLD SPRING, Minn. (AP) -

A police officer in central Minnesota has died in what authorities are calling an ambush killing.

Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner says Cold Spring police Officer Tom Decker was shot twice late Thursday. Sanner says he was responding to a call from a concerned family member about a man in Cold Spring who might be suicidal.

Sanner said Friday that Decker died at the scene.

Bureau of Criminal Apprehension assistant superintendent Drew Evans says it was an ambush.

Thirty-four-year-old Ryan Michael Larson of Cold Spring was arrested at the scene. The county prosecutor is reviewing the case for charges.

Decker's chief, Phil Jones, called the six-year veteran the department jokester. He says Decker leaves behind a wife and four young children.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton released the following statement regarding Officer Decker's death:

"Cold Springs Police Officer Tom Decker was senselessly murdered last night, while acting in the line of duty. On behalf of the people of Minnesota, I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and to the Cold Springs Police Department for their tragic loss of an outstanding officer, father, and friend. Officer Decker died, while protecting his fellow citizens.  For his heroism, we will be forever grateful."