Monday, 18 February, 2019

Suspected robber at center of NYPD detective's death is a career criminal

Det. Brian Simonsen was shot and killed by possible friendly fire during the armed robbery at a T Mobile store in Queens Det. Brian Simonsen was shot and killed by possible friendly fire during the armed robbery at a T Mobile store in Queens
Jeannette Daniel | 13 February, 2019, 23:11

'Make no mistake about it, friendly fire aside, it is because of the actions of the suspect that Detective Simonsen is dead, ' the commissioner said as he choked back tears. "The officers then entered the store and immediately saw a man fitting the description of the suspect emerge from the back pointing at them what appeared to be a handgun".

The mayor said that he and the commissioner had told Simonsen's family that "the New York City Police Department will be there for them, the people of New York City will be there for them".

NYPD officials said that a suspect was shot multiple times and was critically wounded.

The second detective was shot in one leg and listed as stable, police said.

At the hospital, officers guarded the emergency room entrance as O'Neill and de Blasio met with Gorman and offered their condolences to Simonsen's wife and mother. The suspect was shot multiple times and is in stable condition at New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: "We will never forget him or his sacrifice".

Police officers on the scene had desperately called for a "blood bank", indicating that at least one of the officers was in need of a life-saving transfusion. Police say they were wanted in connection with a string of robberies in the area.

More news: Jimmie Johnson wins rain-shortened Clash at Daytona

The gunfire blew out the store's doors, showering the sidewalk with glass. An "imitation firearm" was found at the scene, the police commissioner said. Some walked together in a line, searching for evidence.

"It was like 10 or 12 consecutive sounds, you know, pop, pop, pop, pop, and immediately after that we could hear the sirens going off", Richmond Hill resident Manny Singh said. "The shock that they are feeling was so painful to see".

The squad had a meeting Tuesday morning and officers say because of that meeting, Simonsen was excused from being at work Tuesday night.

He says the detective was immediately put into a marked police vehicle and rushed to the hospital, but despite their efforts, he died.

His death marks the first New York City officer killed in the line of duty since July 2017.

Officer Miosotis Familia, 48, was writing in her notebook when ex-convict Alexander Bonds strode up and shot her through a window.

The incident unfolded as the officers, who were on an unrelated call nearby, responded to an armed robbery call at a T-Mobile store. Bonds, who had railed about police and prison officers in a Facebook video months earlier, was fatally shot by officers soon after the attack.

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