What We Know:
- NYPD In Mourning, Investigation Ongoing
- Det. Simonsen Remembered As Community Giant
- Suspected Had Troubling History
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was a huge showing of support for fallen NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen on Sunday.
Mourners gathered to pay their respects to the 19-year veteran, who spent his his entire career at the 102nd Precinct, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
There were heartfelt messages and prayers for Simonsen, who was killed by friendly fire last week during an attempted robbery in Queens. Friends and strangers alike gathered outside the massive makeshift memorial. Simonsen’s brothers and sisters in blue were grateful for the support.
“Today’s turnout was extraordinary. It’s been an outpouring support from the community. That’s what has been keeping us going,” Deputy Inspector Courtney Nilan said. “The community has been sending food, has been sending cards, has been coming in and praying with us and that’s what has been keeping myself and all 200 members of this command going. It means the world to us knowing that we have the community’s support as well as each other’s support.”
The loss has been especially hard for Simonsen’s work partner, Det. Nicholas Perez, whose daughters sang at Sunday’s station house vigil.
“My dad said he was like a brother to him,” Nicole Perez said.
Perez, 14, said her father is devastated by Simonsen’s death and her family will miss having him in their lives.
“He would come over to our house sometimes and joke around with us, come in our pool. He was a lot of fun. He was really sweet,” Perez said.
Also on Sunday, the second suspect at the center of Simonsen’s death, 25-year-old Jagger Freeman, was arraigned on multiple charges, including second-degree murder, assault and weapons charges.
Police believe Freeman was a lookout for suspect Christopher Ransom, as the 27-year-old robbed a Richmond Hill T-Mobile store on Tuesday. Responding to the call, Det. Simonsen was killed by friendly fire, while Sgt. Matthew Gorman was shot in the leg, and survived.
Police said the gun Ransom pointed at the officers turned out to be fake.
“No matter where the rounds came from that mope caused his death and we should never ever forget this,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “We should always remember that the person that pulled that gun and walked in to rob that T-Mobile, that’s who caused his death.”
Suspect Freeman is being held without bail. His attorney said he’s innocent.