Tricounty News

Investigators find weapon in Officer Decker murder

Public’s Help Needed for Information on Person of Interest

The Stearns County Sheriff and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) held a press conference this afternoon to announce they likely found the weapon used to kill Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker. They said the person of interest in the case was found dead after hanging himself.

On Wednesday, January 2, BCA agents went to the home of Cold Spring resident 31-year old Eric Joseph Thomes to re- interview him regarding the shooting death of Officer Decker. When investigators arrived, Thomes ran out of his home and into an outbuilding on his property. After a several hour standoff, officers went inside the building and found him dead.

Following further investigation of Thomes, officers found a 20-guage shotgun they believe was the weapon used to kill Decker. The weapon was found at a separate property of which Thomes had access.

The investigation is not yet over. Investigators want the public’s help to identify any activities or notable actions taken by Thomes before the shooting on November 29, 2012. Anyone with more information should call the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office at (877) 782-5683 or the BCA at (877) 996-6222 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .