Cold Spring police shooting suspect says he will be cleared - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

2 weeks after officer shot, suspect claims he will be cleared

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COLD SPRING, Minn. (KMSP) -

Thursday will mark two weeks since Cold Spring Officer Tom Decker was gunned down behind Winner's Bar, but the man who was arrested in the case told FOX 9 News he is about to be cleared.

From the very beginning, it seemed Ryan Larson was the obvious culprit in Decker's killing. He was arrested at his apartment above the bar an hour after the shooting -- shortly after his parents had called police to say they were worried he may be suicidal.

Five days later, Larson was released from jail after prosecutors determined they did not have enough evidence to press charges. Now, Larson believes he's no longer the prime suspect.

On Wednesday, Larson sent FOX 9 News a text message saying, "Yesterday, Captain Pam Jensen was hoping to have me cleared in a day or 2."

Jensen, of the Stearns County Sheriff's Department, did not return calls to confirm that.

The case against Larson stacks up like this: He may have had a suicide-by-cop motive and he had the opportunity. Larson's family sent him a text message to let him know they had called police, so he would have known officers were coming unless he was asleep as he claims.

However, detectives still don't have an eye-witness who can identify Larson as the shooter, and they can't find the 20-gauge shotgun believed to be the murder weapon.

Now, Larson says even the FBI has joined the investigation, sending a second text that said, "Got the FBI calling my friends now. Didn't know they were involved -- or are they investigating the police?"

There are rampant rumors that a fellow officer may have played a role while covering up some kind of drug cartel, but there's also a simpler explanation that Decker may have stumbled upon a drug deal in that alley.

FOX 9 News has learned detectives are also looking into a 40-year-old man convicted of attempted murder 23 years ago. He's lived both in Cold Spring and a home in south Minneapolis that was raided for drugs last week.

According to the search warrant, police did not find cocaine or marijuana, but sources say they were really looking for the suspect. Agents with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI were in on the raid, and they took the suspect's brother in for questioning.

As for the suspect himself, his location is currently unknown. As time continues to march forward without an arrest, police are still left with two suspects without an obvious motive and insufficient evidence to put either man in jail.

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