COLD SPRING, Minn. – Alicia Decker, the 24-year-old widow of Cold Spring police officer Thomas Decker, says the hardest part about coping with his death is hearing a siren and wondering whether someone else has just been shot.
“It’s hard. It’s harder than it ever was before,” said Decker, making her first public comments since her husband was shot to death four months ago. “Tommy would talk about if anything would ever happen to him, and the second he would bring it up I would say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it, nothing’s ever going to happen to you. No need to have this conversation.’ ”
Thomas Decker, 31, was shot in the head Nov. 29 in an alley behind a Cold Spring bar as he responded to a call about a potentially suicidal man living upstairs.
The man whom Decker was sent to check on was initially jailed as a suspect but released because of insufficient evidence. The investigation continues, one reason Alicia Decker has avoided commenting.
She’s embroiled in a court dispute with Thomas Decker’s ex-wife — the mother of his four children — over how to distribute all the donations that came in. She also received payment from a $25,000 life insurance policy. A separate $200,000 policy listed Decker’s parents as beneficiaries — an arrangement the couple had an appointment to change within a few weeks of the shooting.
“I just want people to realize I’m not receiving all this money that everyone thinks that I am,” she said. “If I could have it my way, I would have my husband back and you can keep every penny.”
She said life is difficult as a young widow but she copes by praying, talking about her husband with other Cold Spring officers and their wives, and writing poetry.
She remembers her husband as spontaneous and easygoing, someone who knew how to make people smile. “He had that really sensitive side that I was fortunate to have shared with him,” she said.