24 OCTOBER 28, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Man pleads guilty in friendly fi re
killing of NYPD detective in Queens
BY BILL PARRY
The defendant in the 2019 friendly
fi re death of NYPD Detective
Brian Simonsen is facing 33
years in prison aft er pleading guilty to
manslaughter charges on Wednesday,
Christopher Ransom, 30, formerly
of St. John’s Place in Brooklyn, also
pleaded guilty to robbery for holding
up a mobile phone store that brought
police to the Richmond Hill location
and culminated in multiple shots being
fi red, according to Queens District
Attorney Melinda Katz.
Ransom pleaded guilty to aggravated
manslaughter and robbery
before Queens Supreme Court Justice
According to court records, on Feb.
12, 2019, Ransom and a co-defendant
arrived at the T-Mobile store on 120th
Street in Richmond Hill shortly aft er
6 p.m. Ransom entered the business
brandishing a black pistol and ordered
two employees inside to surrender
both cash and merchandise from the
back of the store.
Ranson was still inside the location
when police offi cers from the 102nd
Precinct responded to the scene.
He then pointed the gun, which appeared
real, at the police offi cers, who
discharged their weapons in response.
An NYPD investigation found that
seven of the offi cers fi red 42 shots
from both sides of the store. Simonsen,
a 19-year-veteran of the NYPD, was
struck in the chest and died while he
was transported in an unmarked car
to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
Simonsen was representing the
precinct’s rank-and-file during a
union meeting on the day he was
killed. Mayor Bill de Blasio would later
say the detective could have “called it
a day” and gone home, but he rushed
to the T-Mobile Store when the call
Sergeant Matthew Gorman was seriously
injured with a bullet wound to
his left leg.
“The defendant set in motion a terrible
chain of events that began with
a robbery and ended with a spray of
bullets when Ransom pointed what
appeared to be a deadly fi rearm toward
police offi cers,” Katz said. “The
defendant was repeatedly told to lower
his weapon but did not do so. The
heartbreaking result was the loss of
Detective Simonsen’s life and Sergeant
Matthew Gorman being shot in the
leg. We express our condolences once
again to Detective Simonsen’s family
and hope today brings them a measure
Based on the negotiated plea, Justice
Holder is expected to sentence
Ranson to a total of 33 years in prison
to be followed by fi ve years’ postrelease
supervision at sentencing on
Thousands of police offi cers attended Simonsen’s Long Island funeral.
Photo by Tim Bolger
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