A 27-year-old man who attempted to rob a New York cellphone store was charged with two counts of robbery, as well as second-degree murder and second-degree aggravated manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of a NYPD detective. He was also charged with assault and menacing.
The man was identified as Christopher Ransom. He was allegedly using an imitation gun during the attempted robbery at a T-Mobile store in Queens. NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen, 42, was fatally shot when gunfire broke out at the store.
Simonsen and his sergeant had arrived at the scene in response to 911 calls reporting the incident. They entered the store with six uniformed police officers and saw Ransom emerge from the back. He appeared to be pointing a gun at them.
A shootout ensued in which officers discharged a total of 42 rounds, according to authorities. Ransom was taken to Booth Memorial Hospital in stable condition after being shot multiple times during the encounter.
NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the incident appeared to be “an absolutely tragic case of friendly fire.” He acknowledged that Ransom was armed with a fake firearm and did not shoot Simonsen. However, the commissioner claimed Ransom’s actions were responsible for the officer’s death.