A 19-year veteran of the New York Police Department who was fatally shot during an incident in Queens on Tuesday was likely killed by what police are describing as “friendly fire.”
Detective Brian Simonsen, 42, was shot in the chest while responding to an armed robbery call at a T-Mobile store in the Richmond Hills area at around 6:10 p.m. The career officer, assigned to the 102nd Precinct’s Detective Squad, later died at Jamaica Hospital. The suspect in the incident, described by police as a 27-year old man with a lengthy criminal record, was also shot, as was a second NYPD detective, and both are recovering from their wounds.
New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said in a press conference late Tuesday that an “imitation firearm” was found at the scene, leading to the preliminary conclusion that the rounds fired during the altercation all came from police.
“Make no mistake about it ‘friendly fire’ aside, it is because of the actions of the suspect that Detective Simonsen is dead,” said O’Neill.
Simonsen was the first NYPD officer killed in the line of duty since 2017.