Wednesday was an emotional day in court for friends and family of NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen, killed in the line of duty in February 2019.
Defendant Christopher Ransom pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and two counts of robbery in an incident that led to Simonsen's death. Ransom faces a maximum of 33 years in prison.
In February 2019, Simonsen responded to an attempted robbery at a T-Mobile Store in Richmond Hill. Ransom admitted to that robbery in court, as well as to pointing a fake gun at Simonsen.
Other officers fired more than 30 rounds. Investigators determined Simonsen was killed by friendly fire.
“On that day when he was murdered, he was off,” said Paul Digiacomo, president of the NYPD’s Detective Endowment Association. “He didn’t have to go to work. He went to work to serve the people of this great city on his own time.”
A crowd of about 100 officers gathered outside the Queens County Criminal Courthouse to support Simonsen’s family.
“Today was a very, very difficult day for members of the NYC Police Department, members of the Simonsen family, and for the people of the city of NY,” Digiacomo said.
In May, a plaque went up in Queens in Simonsen’s honor. He was a 19-year veteran of the force. He was promoted to detective posthumously.
“We lost a dedicated hero detective who not only served the people of this great city as a detective, but also served his fellow detectives as a union delegate, and he is dearly missed and loved by so many,” Digiacomo said.
Simonsen leaves behind a wife and mother.
“This was a difficult day for his wife, a difficult day for his family, and it’s something that we all have to live with for the rest of our lives, without Brian Simonsen in our life anymore,” Digiacomo said.
NY1 reached out to Ransom’s legal team for comment, and has yet to hear back.
The judge set Ransom’s sentencing for Nov. 17.
The other suspect charged in Simonsen’s death, Jagger Freeman, is scheduled to appear in court next Wednesday.