Brian Simonsen NYPD, shot dead and another is injured.
One NYPD officer has been shot dead and another is injured following a shootout at a T-Mobile store in Queens on Tuesday night.
Police were responding to a call about an armed robbery at the phone store in Richmond Hill just before 6.15pm when a gun battle broke out.
Det Brian Simonsen, 42, was shot in the chest and later died. Squad Sgt Matthew Gorman was also shot in the hip during the confrontation. It is unclear whether either officer was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Simonsen and Gorman entered the store and were confronted by a suspect wielding what turned out to be a fake gun, Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference Tuesday night.
The officers opened fire on the suspect, and as they backed out of the store, they were struck by bullets from cops outside, O’Neill said.
‘Make no mistake about it, friendly fire aside, it is because of the actions of the suspect that Detective Simonsen is dead,’ the commissioner said as he choked back tears.
The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Christopher Ransom of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, was shot ‘multiple times’ and left critically wounded. He is reportedly in critical condition at New York-Presbyterian Queens hospital.
The ‘career criminal’ was wanted for a previous phone store robbery in Jamaica, Queens. He reportedly goes by the nickname ‘Detective’.
A witness told the New York Daily News that before police arrived, one of the robbers, dressed in black, could be seen forcing two employees to the back of a T-Mobile store at gunpoint.
Chaos erupted as soon as police pulled up and dozens of shots rang out.
Officers could be heard frantically calling for backup on emergency radio transmissions.
‘Shots fired! Shots fired!’ one officer exclaimed in audio obtained by the NYDN.
‘Central, he’s in the store. He’s going to the back… He’s still in the store, central. He’s still in the store.’
The sergeant wounded in the shootout could be heard saying: ‘Be advised, I’m shot. The perp’s in the location.’
Police officers on the scene had desperately called for a ‘blood bank’, indicating that at least one of the officers was in need of a life-saving transfusion.
Simonsen, whose 19th anniversary with the department was coming up in March, leaves behind a wife and two children.
‘We lost a very good man,’ Mayor Bill de Blasio said of the hero detective.
Simonsen’s death marks the NYPD’s first line-of-duty fatality since 2017.