Suspect charged with murder in the NYPD friendly fire death

Officers salute a procession as the remains of slain Detective Brian Simonsen to be removed from Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in the Queens borough of New York. The NYPD detective and NYPD sergeant were shot and killed while responding to an armed robbery at a T-Mobile store in Queens. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

NEW YORK – A robbery suspect with a long rap sheet and a habit of bizarre stunts was charged Wednesday with murder in the death of a New York City police detective hit by friendly fire, while the answer of a stick-up on Tuesday night.

Detective Brian Simonsen has died after being hit once in the chest by crossfire as he and six other officers fired 42 shots at suspect Christopher Ransom, who is charged in the direction of the entrance of a Queens store and did the trigger of a fake gun, police said.

“You have to understand, this happens in seconds,” head of the Department Terence Monahan said. “It goes from 0 to 60. You’re investigating a possible crime, and all of a sudden someone charging points at what you think you have a firearm, to simulate firing at you. It brings everything very quickly.”

Simonsen supervisor, Sgt. Matthew Gorman, and the Ration, were also injured. Gorman was hit in the leg. The size of the Ransom-money of the injury is still unclear. Both are listed in stable condition.

Ransom, 27, is also charged with robbery, sexual assault, aggravated manslaughter, and threatening. It was not clear whether he had a lawyer who can respond to his name. A phone number listed for Ransom in Brooklyn had a busy signal Wednesday night.

Ransom was arrested at least 11 times since 2012, records show, and he was wanted by the police in connection with a Jan. 19 robbery at a mobile phone shop. After an arrest, court papers show, the Ransom was taken to a psychiatric ward.

On the social media, the Ransom has decorated himself as a comedian and prankster, in the vein of Sasha Baron Cohen of “Borat” fame, filling Facebook and YouTube pages containing videos of himself disguised as a Speedo-wearing superhero.

This time in the two personas are blurred.

Ransom pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and was sentenced to 20 days in jail in 2016 after allegedly climbing over a fence and walk on a desk in a Brooklyn police station, while wearing a fake SWAT vest, and police badge. The police records listed his alias “Detective.”

Four years earlier, he pleaded guilty, and sentenced to a term of imprisonment for pretending to be an intern in order to gain access to a court of the judiciary.

Meanwhile, on social media, he posted videos of himself in his superhero attire stop of a subway by jumping on the tracks and holding his hand up. In another, with the title “Vigilante offers services to the NYPD,” he shows up to a police district in the outfit.

Ransom sued the city in 2015, arrest, alleging the officers approached him on the corner of the street for no reason, cornered him in a shop with weapons drawn and took him to a psychiatric ward against his will. His charges were later dismissed, and he left the trial in 2016.

Simonsen, 42, grew up in the east of Long Island, and he and his wife remained in the neighborhood — more than an hour’s drive from the 102nd district, where he worked his entire 19-year NYPD career.

Simonsen must have been Tuesday for a union, but he chose to work so that he could continue with the follow of a series of recent robberies.

Since his childhood he is known as the “Smile” for his light, pleasant personality. At Riverhead high School, he played football and baseball and was friends with everyone he met childhood friend Melissa Weir said.

“Everyone is in complete shock. Everyone feels this,” Weir said. “When you have someone like Brian, it really is hit everyone. There are people, everywhere hurt.”

Simonsen, Gorman, and six uniformed officers swarmed the T-Mobile store at 6:10 a.m. Tuesday after a 911 caller outside of state reported that a man had two employees to a back room at gunpoint, Monahan said.

Simonsen and Gorman, who are both in plainclothes, were working on another case in the area when the call came, and came around the same time as the patrolling police, Monahan said.

The shooting began as Gorman and two of the uniformed officers withdrew from the shop as a Ransom emerged from a back room, and came to them, Monahan said. The gunfire blew out the shop’s doors, showering the sidewalk with glass.

Simonsen remained outside as Gorman and the uniformed officers went, Monahan said. Simonsen fired two shots. Gorman fired 11 times. It is not clear who shot that struck them, Monahan said.


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