Updated at 5:15 a.m. on 2/13/2019
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is dealing with the loss of one of their own after two officers were shot, one fatally, while responding to an attempted robbery in Queens Tuesday night.
Authorities say 42-year-old Det. Brian Simonsen was shot in the chest while responding to a call near the corner of 120th Street and Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill.
NYPD Sgt. Matthew Gorman, 34, was also shot in the leg. Both of them were rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where Simonsen was pronounced dead.
During a Tuesday night press conference, NYPD commissioner James O’Neill said investigators believe the detective was killed by friendly fire.
The robbery suspect – identified by police as 27-year-old Christopher Ransom – was also shot multiple times and rushed to New York-Presbyterian/Queens, where he was taken into custody.
Authorities say Ransom is a Brooklyn resident with over 20 prior arrests on his record.
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“It was like 10 or 12 consecutive sounds, you know, pop, pop, pop, pop, and immediately after that we could hear the sirens going off,” Richmond Hill resident Manny Singh said.
O’Neill added that the blame for the tragedy still rests with Ransom, saying that the 42-year-old veteran would still be alive if not for the career criminal’s actions.
Another witness told CBS2’s Valerie Castro that he saw one of the officers wounded in the deadly gun battle.
“He was definitely shot, he was limping then after that more cars came and there was more shooting,” Jason Parodi said.
The department urged New Yorkers to avoid the area in Richmond Hill due to a heavy police presence in response to the shooting.