Man behind NYC robbery that left detective dead to get 33 years

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The man responsible for a Queens phone store robbery that left an NYPD detective dead after he was struck by bullets fired by other police officers will serve 33 years in prison, officials said Wednesday.

Christopher Ransom, 30, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter for the 2019 death of NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. 

He also pleaded guilty to the Richmond Hill phone store robbery where he pointed a fake gun at responding police officers.

“The defendant set in motion a terrible chain of events that began with a robbery and ended in a spray of bullets when Ransom pointed what appeared to be a deadly firearm toward police officers,” Katz said. 

“The defendant was repeatedly told to lower his weapon but did not do so,” Katz said. “The heartbreaking result was the loss of Detective Simonsen’s life and Sergeant Matthew Gorman being shot in the leg.”

In this undated photo provided by the New York City Police Department, Det. Brian Simonsen is shown.
NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen was shot and killed in 2019.
NYPD via AP

Katz said Ransom is expected to be sentenced to 33 years in prison at hearing on Nov. 17, adding that she hoped the sentence would bring Simonsen’s family a “measure of closure.” 

Simonsen, 42, was killed in a volley of nearly four dozen bullets fired at Ransom, a career criminal, after police responded to reports of a robbery at a T-Mobile store on 120th Street on Feb. 12, 2019.

The NYPD veteran was killed by a single bullet to the chest. Ransom was shot eight times but survived.

Jagger Freeman entering a hearing in Queens during 2019.
Jagger Freeman enters a hearing in Queens during 2019.
Ellis Kaplan

Jagger Freeman, 25, allegedly served as a lookout during the deadly encounter.

Gorman, was seriously injured with a bullet wound to his left leg.

Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo pointed out that Simonsen had attended a union meeting that day and did not have to report to duty, but responded to the cell phone store anyway.

In this image taken from surveillance video provided by the New York Police Department, a man, identified by police as Christopher Ransom, is shown robbing a cell phone store, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019
In this image taken from surveillance video, Christopher Ransom is shown robbing the T-Mobile store, on Jan. 19, 2019.
NYPD via AP

“Detective Brian Simonsen was a highly dedicated cop and DEA Delegate at work on his day off trying to bring justice to a crime victim,” he said.

“If not for Ransom committing a robbery that day in Queens, Brian would be with us today,” he said. “For that, Ransom should spend every waking moment of the next 33 years in jail thinking about the grief he caused so many.”

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