What We Know:
- Det. Simonsen Remembered As Community Giant
- Suspect Had Troubling History
- 2nd Man Charged With Murder
- Complete Coverage
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A wake was held Monday night on Long Island for fallen NYPD detective Brian Simonsen.
The 19-year veteran was killed by friendly fire last Tuesday, while responding to a robbery in Richmond Hill, Queens.
Fellow officers from the 102nd Precinct flooded into St. Rosalie Church in Hampton Bays to pay their respects.
“What he’s done in his 19 years for the community and for this precinct, I can’t even put into words,” Deputy Inspector Courtney Nilan said at a vigil for the detective Sunday.
The emotional service began three days of tributes to a man known as “Smiles.”
The 42-year-old detective was also remembered as a faithful friend, husband, son, and grandson. Simonsen was a devoted cop who spent all 19 years in the same NYPD precinct in Queens.
The fallen member of New York’s Finest was also a favorite son of Long Island’s East End, where blue ribbons now line Montauk Highway in preparation for the police department’s first line of duty funeral since July 2017.
Merchants say there’s been a flood of requests to help the family and feed law enforcement here for the services.
“Everybody’s coming together, giving donations, food, monetary, to help out. We do the best we can,” restaurant owner Rachele Scotto said.
“An outpouring of love, there is great sympathy for this man. He was a man who lived the Christian ministry out in the world,” Father Steven Maddaloni from the Church of St. Rosalie said.
Simonsen died responding to a robbery at a T-mobile store in Richmond Hill. Two men have since been arrested, including career criminal Christopher Ransom, who allegedly pointed a fake gun at officers which caused the friendly fire tragedy.
Simonsen is survived by his mother – who is now tragically burying her second child – and his wife Leanne. Simonsen’s widow has asked that donations be made to the Healing Haven Animal Foundation, in lieu of flowers.
“We are very honored they chose us and will save a lot of animals because of Det. Simonsen,” Healing Haven’s Dr. Lynda Loudon said.
Monday’s wake was expressly for family and friends.
Law enforcement services are planned for Tuesday, followed by the line of duty funeral that will draw thousands of law enforcement officers from near and far on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Southampton police estimate that more than 10,000 people could be in attendance.
To share a message of sympathy on the funeral home’s website, click here.