Police radio captures tragic moment detective is killed by friendly fire
Detective Brian Simonsen was responding to a robbery at a T-Mobile phone store in Queens when he was fatally shot by a fellow officer in a tragic turn of events.
During the Tuesday night shooting, Sgt. Matthew Gorman was also wounded, and the suspect of the robbery on Atlantic Avenue was shot multiple times.
Two separate 911 calls described the suspect as carrying a firearm during the robbery, with two employees said to have been forced at gunpoint to the rear, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill confirmed.
Officers Simonsen and Gorman responded to the separate calls and entered the store, at which point the suspect, Christopher Ransom, emerged from the back of the store pointing at them what turned out to be a fake gun.
The officers discharged their weapons and retreated from the store, at which point they were reportedly shot by other responding officers. Simonsen was shot in the chest, and rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he passed away. Gorman was shot in the leg and taken to the same hospital, where he is now in a stable condition.
Now, Twitter account @NYScanner has leaked the police radio recording of the friendly fire incident, in which you can hear the shots fired. “Shots fired! Shots fired!” one officer shouted over the noise of the friendly fire in the audio recording. After a dispatcher announces that shots had been fired at Atlantic Avenue and 120th Street in Richmond Hill, further shots can be heard during the 6:10pm incident.
“Shots fired!” another officer shouts, before the dispatcher ads, “Once again we got shots fired on Atlantic.” The officer then explained where the suspect is, claiming “he’s still in the store, Central, he’s still in the store.” Before further action is taken, what is believed to be Officer Gorman can be heard in the audio recording, saying: “Be advised, I’m shot. Perp’s still in the location. Please set up a route going to Jamaica [hospital].”
The rest of the audio details how responding officers set up a perimeter around the store and the NYPD's Emergency Services Unit is called. Another officer on the recording confirms that "We have an MOS [member of service] shot at this location,” when asked by the dispatcher.
The 27-year-old suspect, Ransom, was shot multiple times, and later taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Queens in a stable condition. “Make no mistake about it - friendly fire aside - it is because of the actions of the suspect that Detective Simonsen is dead,” Commissioner O’Neill said later on Tuesday night.
Both O'Neill and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio met with Simonsen’s mother and wife following the fatal shooting, explaining to the reporters the family is distraught by what happened. “The shock that they are feeling was so painful to see,” de Blasio said at the press conference. The police are still investigating the shooting.