Tears Of Blue: 

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The wake for fallen NYPD detective Brian Simonsen continued Tuesday.

Throngs of mourners paid their respects to the 19-year veteran who was killed last week while responding to a robbery in Richmond Hill, Queens.

Authorities say Simonsen was shot by friendly fire, along with Sergeant Matthew Gorman, who attended both days of the wake while still healing in a wheelchair.

Sgt. Matthew Gorman attends the wake for fallen NYPD Det. Simonsen. (Credit: CBS2)

Police say the suspect Christopher Ransom used a fake gun in the holdup. He was due back in court later Tuesday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was also among those in attendance. Patrolman Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said “don’t forget” the sacrifices made by fallen heroes like Simonsen.

“When you go home, realize you lie in safety because a police officer was willing to lay down his life,” Lynch said.

Mourners Gather For Det. Simonsen’s Wake


 

The emotional services began on Monday, and started 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.

MORE: Vigil Held For Fallen NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen, 2nd Suspect Arraigned On Multiple Charges

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.

MORE: ‘Absolute Tragedy:’ NYPD Mourns Det. Simonsen, Killed By Friendly Fire While Responding To Robbery

Two men have since been arrested in connection to Simonsen’s death, 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. Sanny Liu, the wife of fellow-fallen NYPD officer, offered her condolences.

Fallen NYPD officer Wenjian Liu (credit: CBS2)

“The police department provided great support to us and I offered to support the family,” Liu said. “They are not alone, we will always be with them.”

Sanny Liu, widow of fallen NYPD officer Wenjian Liu attends the wake for Det. Simonsen. (Credit: CBS2)

A long line of blue walked down Montauk Highway as dozens of people gathered outside Saint Rosalie’s Church. Representatives from police departments nationwide were in attendance.

“We just want to show them that we are all family, and we are there when they need us in their most trying times,” Boston Police Captain Jim Fitzgerald said.

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, with Simonsen’s funeral set for 10 a.m. Wednesday. Ahead of the funeral, the Long Island Rail Road announced schedule changes to accommodate the massive ridership expected for the service. The line of duty funeral will draw thousands of law enforcement officers from near and far.

Southampton police estimate that more than 10,000 people could be in attendance.

Click here for changes to the LIRR eastbound schedule. Click here for changes to westbound service.

Southamptom police announced the following road closures as of 8 a.m. Wednesday:

  • Montauk Highway from Flanders Road to Old Riverhead Road
  • Squiretown Road from Montauk Highway to Old Riverhead Road
  • Ponquogue Avnue from Montauk Highway to Good Ground Road
  • Springville Road from Montauk Highway to Good Ground Road

No parking permitted on the following roads beginning at 6am tomorrow Feb. 20th:

  • Montauk Highway from Flanders Road to Canoe Place Road
  • Squiretown Road from Montauk Highway to Old Riverhead Road
  • Ponquogue Avenue from Montauk Highway to Good Ground Road
  • Springville Road from Montauk Highway to Good Ground Road

Following the funeral, there will be a moving closure along Flanders Road (NY 24) to County Road 105 as the funeral procession moves to Jamesport for burial.

To share a message of sympathy on the funeral home’s website, click here. Simonsen was an animal lover, so in lieu of flowers, his widow is asking that donations be made to the Healing Haven Animal Foundation.

“We’re very honored that they chose us, and we’ll save many animals because of Detective Simonsen,” said. Dr. Lynda Loudon of Healing Haven Animal Foundation.

To make a donation, click here.

For a GoFundMe to help support Simonsen’s family, click here.

Comments
  1. Edward Branca says:

    The punks who commit the robbery that resulted in this brave officer’s death should NEVER get out of prison.

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