What to Know
- A second suspect was charged with murder in connection with the death of an NYPD officer responding to a robbery in Queens
- Detective Brian Simonsen, 42, was killed after being hit by gunfire at a T-Mobile store in Richmond Hill
- Simonsen died in what NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said appeared to be 'an absolutely tragic case of friendly fire'
A second man was charged with murder on Saturday in connection with a robbery that led to the fatal shooting of an NYPD detective, police said.
Jagger Freeman, 25, of Queens, was charged with second-degree murder, robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD said. The murder charge relates to the death that happened while another crime was being committed.
Detective Brian Simonsen, 42, was killed after being hit by friendly fire while police were responding to the robbery in Queens.
The alleged robber, Christopher Ransom, 27, faces charges including murder in connection with Simonsen's death.
A complaint filed with the Queens District Attorney's Office says Freeman was acting as a lookout for Ransom while he tried to rob a T-Mobile store.
Text messages between Ransom and Freeman show that the two planned the robbery together, according to the complaint.
Investigators were looking to see if there was any past electronic communication linking the pair to at least one other previous holdup.
Freeman's attorney, Jonathan Latimer, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The Detectives' Endowment Association said earlier Friday it was offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a second suspect.
Ransom, meanwhile, was ordered held without bail as prosecutors noted he had at least 10 prior misdemeanor arrests, six of which ended in convictions, and twice failed to show up for court hearings in the past.
Simonsen and Sgt. Matthew Gorman, the second NYPD officer hurt in the shooting, were working on an unrelated case in the area of the robbery Tuesday, but responded to the 911 call for the robbery because it was nearby. Also responding: six uniformed NYPD officers, authorities said.
When they arrived and went into the store, they saw Ransom emerge from the back with the imitation gun -- he was pretending to fire it. NYPD service members fired a total of 42 rounds in 11 seconds at the scene. Simonsen, a married 19-year NYPD veteran, was hit once in the chest. He later died. Gorman was hit once in the leg.
Simonsen wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest when he was hit, but the other uniformed officers at the scene were wearing vests.