QUEENS, N.Y. - A sergeant was wounded, and a police detective was killed by friendly fire, while responding to a robbery in Queens on Tuesday evening, the city police department said.
The shooting happened around 6:10 p.m. a T-Mobile store on 120 Street and Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill.
Detective Brian Simonsen, 42, was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital. The sergeant was shot once in the leg and is in stable condition, police said.
Police said the suspect, who sources identify as Christopher Ransom, 27, of Brooklyn, was shot multiple times. He was transported to New York–Presbyterian Hospital Queens where he is listed in stable condition.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill said an imitation firearm was recovered at the scene.
"Make no mistake about it, friendly fire aside, it's because of the actions of the suspect that Detective Simonsen is dead," O'Neill told reporters Tuesday night.
Police had received a 911 call of a man with a firearm entering the store, and at least one 911 caller said two employees had been forced, at gunpoint, to the back of the store, according to the NYPD.
Simonsen and the sergeant were in the area on an unrelated case but responded when they heard the radio of the 911 call. They pulled up when patrol units from the local 102nd Precinct responded.
O'Neill said, when they entered, they saw a man fitting the description on the 911 call emerging from the back of the store and pointing what appeared to be a handgun at them.
Simonsen was shot after multiple officers fired multiple rounds, the NYPD said. Police are trying to determine which officer's round ended up hitting the detective.
A witness said he heard 10 to 11 shots fired before he saw someone — believed to be the sergeant — limping to his car after the incident.
O'Neill and top police officials blamed the perpetrator for Simonsen's death.
A third police officer was transported to the hospital for ringing in the ear, according to sources.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he spoke to the family.
Sources said there has been a series of armed robberies in the area. Residents told NY1 that this wasn't the first time this T-Mobile store was robbed.
The last NYPD officer killed in the line of duty was Miosotis Familia, who was shot shortly after midnight on July 5, 2017 as she sat inside a NYPD mobile command center in the Bronx. Familia was posthumously promoted to detective.
The last NYPD detectives shot and killed while on duty were Bobby Parker and Pat Rafferty in 2004.
It's the second time a police officer has been shot in the city in the past three months. In December, a police officer on Staten Island was hit by friendly fire as officers responding to a domestic dispute call shot and killed a man carrying a knife. That officer did not die.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.