NYPD: Detective Killed by Friendly Fire While Re­sponding to Robbery in Richmond Hill

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 a perpetrator was shot multiple times and listed in stable condition. Police Commissioner James O’Neill said an imitation firearm was recovered at the scene.

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.

Officials said the perpetrator has a lengthy arrest record, but they did not release his name. The NYPD also did not release the name of the sergeant.

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.

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About Cholo Brooks 13810 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.