Robbery That Resulted in NYPD Cop's Death Netted $1K and 25 iPhones: Complaint

Detective Brian Simonsen, 42, was killed after being hit by friendly fire while police were responding to a robbery in Queens

What to Know

  • The robbery that led to the friendly-fire death of an NYPD detective would have netted $1,000 and 25 iPhones, a criminal complaint says
  • 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'

The friendly-fire death of an NYPD detective stemmed from the robbery of $1,000 and 25 iPhones, a criminal complaint released Sunday said. 

Two men planned to split the proceeds, the complaint said. Both have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Detective Brian Simonsen, 42, who was shot by other officers who were also responding to the robbery of a T-Mobile store on Feb. 12 in Richmond Hill. 

Simonsen's wake was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday evenings at Saint Rosalie Roman Catholic Church in Hampton Bays.

Christopher Ransom, 27, was accused of pointing a fake pistol at employees while demanding they put cash and phones in a black duffle bag, the complaint said. 

Jagger Freeman, 25, was accused of being the lookout. The complaint said he started walking away when police arrived and started running when shots were fired. 

Both men face additional charges including robbery and assault. 

Legal Aid defense attorneys for Ransom said he was shot eight times during the shootout, including once in the leg and may lose use of his leg as a result.

Freeman's attorney, Jonathan Latimer, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment. 

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 fake 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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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