Mr. James P. O’Neill, superintendent of the New York City Police Department, sadly reports the death of Detective Brian Simonsen.
Det. Simonsen, 42, was shot and killed during an armed robbery in progress call in what has been described as a “friendly fire” incident.
Simonsen and his partner, Sergeant Matthew Gorman, were canvassing an area on an investigation when a radio report advised of a robbery in progress at a cell phone store that was near the officer’s location.
Gorman and Simonsen, who were in plain clothes, responded to the call. When they arrived, they encountered the suspect exiting a back room of the store. He exhibited what turned out to be a replica handgun. Simonsen and Gorman opened fire on the suspect striking him several times as they were backing out of the store.
Unfortunately, uniformed officers were approaching and opened fire on both officers, mistaking them for the suspects. Gorman was struck in the leg and Simonsen was stuck in the chest.
Both Gorman and Simonsen were rushed via patrol vehicles to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where Simonsen succumbed to his gunshot wound. Gorman underwent emergency surgery and is expected to recover.
Brian Simonsen served the New York City Police Department for 19 years and was assigned to the 102nd Precinct Detective Squad. His wife, LeAnn, two children and his mother survive him.
Detective Brian Simonsen is gone, but will never be forgotten.
EOW: Tuesday, February 12, 2019.