‘Tragic case of friendly fire:’ NYPD detective killed during Queens robbery

An NYPD detective was killed by friendly fire during a robbery Tuesday night and police say the suspect is from Brooklyn.

News 12 Staff

Feb 13, 2019, 11:20 AM

Updated 1,894 days ago


Police say the suspect in an armed robbery that ended with an NYPD detective being killed is from Brooklyn.
Police identified the officer who died as 42-year-old detective Brian Simonsen, a 19-year veteran of the force. Another officer, Sgt. Matthew Gorman, was shot in the leg. He is in stable condition.
Police have identified the suspect as 27-year-old Christopher Ransom. News 12 is told he is from the border of Crown Heights and Brownsville and has eight prior arrests. News 12 is told he was shot multiple times. He's in stable condition at New York–Presbyterian/Queens.
Police announced Wednesday night that Ransom is facing murder, robbery, assault, aggravated manslaughter and menacing charges.
Commissioner James O'Neill says NYPD officers dressed in civilian clothing responded to reports of an armed man at a T-Mobile store in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens around 6:15 p.m.
The commissioner says Detective Simonsen and the sergeant were in the area working on an unrelated case when they heard the call come over the radio. He says they didn't hesitate, immediately responding. Commissioner O'Neill says they looked through the windows of the store. When they didn't see anyone inside, they went into the store.
That's when they say they saw a man fitting the description from the 911 calls coming from the back pointing what appeared to be a handgun. The commissioner says officers opened fire and somehow, Detective Simonsen was hit.
He says the detective was immediately put into a marked police car and rushed to the hospital, but despite their efforts, he died.
Police say a passerby and a civilian vehicle stopped and helped get the sergeant who was also shot to the hospital.
The Police Benevolent Association tweeted out a video of the escort for Detective Simonsen's body.  State police, FDNY firefighters, as well as Bridge and Tunnel officers all lined the highway to show respect.
"Make no mistake about it, friendly fire aside, it's because of the actions of the suspect that Detective Simonsen is dead," said NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill.
As for the weapon he pointed at officers, police say it was a fake gun.
Simonsen, who called Long Island home, leaves behind his wife.
He was also an elected delegate for the 102nd Precinct squad. The squad had a meeting Tuesday morning and officers say because of that meeting, Simonsen was excused from being at work Tuesday night.
Despite being excused, he went anyway. The Detective Endowment Association says that act shows just what type of man he was.
Viewings for Simonsen have been scheduled for Monday and Tuesday and a service will be held next Wednesday.

More from News 12