NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Seven months before an NYPD officer was killed during a violent struggle with an armed suspect in the Bronx, another member of the force was shot in the chest while responding to a botched robbery in Brooklyn.
Det. Brian Simonsen died after a police shooting near the corner of 120th Street and Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill back on Feb. 12.
Less than a minute after officers arrived on the night of the incident, police said more than 40 shots were fired trying to stop an attempted robbery.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill called it a tragic case of friendly fire, and again echoed those words on Monday.
This week, NYPD officials announced that Officer Brian Mulkeen was hit by two rounds from friendly fire while attempting to restrain an armed suspect in the Bronx on Sunday night.
Police said a .32-caliber handgun was recovered from the suspect, 27-year-old Antonio Williams, who was pronounced dead after five officers shot at him. According to police, Williams had several prior arrests and was on probation for a narcotics-related charge.
Investigators said it appeared Williams’ gun was not fired at the scene. Officer Mulkeen, however, fired his gun, a 9mm pistol, five times, and other officers fired 15 rounds during the encounter, NYPD officials said.
Watch: NYPD Officials Give Details On Det. Simonsen’s Death
In the February case involving Simonsen, he had been at a meeting in his capacity as a union delegate for detectives at his precinct earlier in the day and did not have to go to work. He went in anyway, and was in the station processing a robbery arrest when his supervisor, Sgt. Matt Gorman, approached him and the two went looking for a group involved in a robbery.
The two hopped in a police car to conduct surveillance.
At 6:09 p.m., a caller told 911 operators they saw someone carrying a gun put on a mask enter a T-Mobile store.
Simonsen and Gorman were around the corner conducting their surveillance on another case. They responded to the robbery call, along with six uniformed officers.
Christopher Ransom had allegedly taken the T-Mobile employees into the back of the store.
Gorman and two officers entered the store, and Ransom appeared from the back room, carrying what appeared to be a gun, Deputy Chief Kevin Maloney said.
The gun, police said, wound up being a toy.
As Ransom advanced with the fake gun raised, seven police officers fired 42 rounds, resulting in two officers being shot.
Simonsen was struck once in the chest. He was not wearing a bulletproof vest, despite department policy.
Fellow officers rushed the detective to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in a police car, but he did not survive.
Gorman, 34, was shot in the leg. He was taken to the hospital by a passerby in a civilian vehicle.
Ransom, 27, was shot eight times. He was wielding an “imitation pistol,” Maloney said. He was rushed to New York-Presbyterian/Queens, where he was taken into custody. He has prior convictions, including impersonating a police officer, Monahan said.