New York Police Department says detective killed by friendly fire

Clay Curtis
February 13, 2019

In December, a police officer on Staten Island survived being hit by friendly fire as officers responding to a domestic dispute call shot and killed a man carrying a knife.

Brian Simonsen was shot in the chest while responding to a call near the corner of 120th Street and Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill.

The union that represents uniformed officers posted online that a detective died and a sergeant was hurt. NYPD Police Commissioner James O'Neill says it appears to be "an absolutely tragic case of friendly fire". A 911 caller outside the store reported seeing the suspect - dressed in all black and carrying a duffel bag - take two employees to a back room at gunpoint, according to the recording. "Make no mistake, friendly fire aside, it is because of the actions of the suspect that Detective Simonsen is dead", he said. Commissioner O'Neill says they looked through the windows of the store.

The suspect, described as a 27-year-old "career criminal", was not identified by police.

It happened just after 6 p.m. Tuesday at a cellphone store in the Richmond Hill section of Queens. He's still in the store, central.

Simonsen, whose 19th anniversary with the department was coming up in March, leaves behind a wife and two children.

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"Every day our men and women in uniform risk their lives to protect us, and tonight we are truly heartbroken to lose one of our own", James, a Democrat, said in a tweet.

The mayor said that he and the commissioner had told Simonsen's family that "the New York City Police Department will be there for them, the people of New York City will be there for them. Simonsen is dead", Commissioner O'Neill said.

Both Simonsen and Gorman were taken by patrol vehicle to Jamaica Hospital, officials said.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "It was a hard, painful night for our city". The detective sergeant, shot in the leg, was in serious but stable condition. The condition of the wounded officer wasn't immediately known. He graduated from the New York Police Department Police Academy on October 24, 2000, the News-Review reported at the time.

'There was so much gunfire you could smell the smoke in the air, ' neighborhood resident Jason Parodi told the NYDN.

Spectrum News NY1 reported that the detective that was shot and killed "was 1 year away from retirement, @MylesMill reports". Then the cops came out and put one guy in an ambulance'. Investigators are looking into whether Ransom is the same suspect seen on surveillance video robbing a cell phone store on Rockaway Boulevard in January.

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