COLD SPRING (AP) -- A friend of the man accused of gunning down a central Minnesota police officer says the suspect is "not a monster."

Jeff Scoles Jr. of Sartell says suspect Ryan Michael Larson "was a normal person." Scoles finds it hard to believe Larson is suspected of killing Cold Spring police Officer Tom Decker.

Scoles owns a bar in Cold Spring. He says Larson lived the past two years in an apartment above the bar and was a bartender at Scoles' other bar in Sartell.

Scoles says Larson was doing his homework at the Sartell bar Thursday and was in a "good mood" when he left.

That night, Decker was responding to a report of a suicidal man when he was shot twice in downtown Cold Spring. Larson is in jail.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)