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Report: Slain Minnesota police officer’s partner backed away, didn’t pursue assailant | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

Report: Slain Minnesota police officer’s partner backed away, didn’t pursue assailant

The partner of a police officer killed in Cold Spring retreated from the shooting and didn’t pursue the assailant as he walked away.

By: Associated Press report, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The partner of a Cold Spring officer killed retreated from the shooting scene without pursuing the assailant, according to a police document obtained by the Star Tribune.

Officer Tom Decker, 31, was fatally shot Nov. 29 behind a downtown Cold Spring bar as he and Officer Greg Reiter were checking on a man who lived above the bar and was reported to be suicidal.

The newly released document, which was used to justify jailing a now-released suspect, outlines the night’s chronology and helps shed light on why no one is in custody.

According to the document, officer Greg Reiter stayed in his car when Decker began walking toward the stairway to the man’s apartment.

“Officer Reiter, still seated in the squad car, then heard two loud ‘bangs,’ ” the document states. It also says Reiter reported he saw a 6-foot-tall white man in a hooded sweatshirt, jeans and dark stocking cap standing in front of Decker’s squad and pointing a handgun “at him,” though it’s unclear whether “him” referred to Decker or Reiter.

Reiter stayed in his squad and then backed the car away from the handgun-wielding shooter, the Star Tribune quoted the document as saying.

“Officer Reiter then lost visual contact,” the document said

The man reported to be suicidal, Ryan Michael Larson, 34, was arrested roughly an hour after Decker was killed. He was released five days later after police and prosecutors agreed they didn’t have the evidence to support filing charges.

Reiter, 39, of St. Joseph, runs a drywall business in addition to his part-time police work.

Reiter’s phone rang unanswered Saturday and Police Chief Phil Jones didn’t immediately respond to a message or e-mail seeking comment Saturday.

The document also conflicts with some previous information, such as law enforcement’s request that the public help look for a 20-gauge shotgun they believe was used to shoot the 10-year police veteran twice.

The document states Reiter saw the killer pointing a handgun and states Larson had a handgun next to him on his bed when he was arrested.

The document also revealed Reiter said he tried to do a welfare check earlier on Larson but did not make contact. A request to locate Larson was put out to other agencies, but Reiter returned at 10:35 p.m. and asked Decker to back him up, the document said.Report: Slain Minnesota police officer’s partner backed away, didn’t pursue assailant | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota.

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