New York Detective Killed By "Friendly Fire" While Responding To Robbery

Investigators look over the area after a few New York City police officers were shot while responding to a robbery at a T Mobile store in the Queens borough of New York on Tuesday Feb. 12 2019. An official said one of them was killed. (AP

The union that represents uniformed officers posted online that a detective died and a sergeant was hurt. It is unclear whether either officer was wearing a bulletproof vest.

The officers, in the vicinity on an unrelated case, responded to the call and on entering the store saw a man fitting the suspect's description pointing at them what appeared to be a firearm.

"Friendly fire aside, it's because of the actions of the suspect that Simonsen is dead", the police commissioner said.

Two suspects, whose names have not been released, were apprehended after the shooting. They retreated out of the store, and that's when Simonsen was shot, O'Neill said.

The robbery suspect - identified by police as 27-year-old Christopher Ransom - was also shot multiple times and rushed to New York-Presbyterian/Queens, where he was taken into custody.

A second officer, Sgt. Matthew Gorman, was struck by friendly fire, and reportedly expected to survive.

Officers were responding to a robbery at a T-Mobile store in the Richmond Hill neighborhood at around 6:30 p.m. He's still in the store, central.

"It was heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking", De Blasio said.

Speaking at a press conference Tuesday night, New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill said Det. "Simonsen is dead", Commissioner O'Neill said.

In a grim rite, officers from across the New York City Police Department stood and saluted Tuesday night outside Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in a cold drizzle as the remains of a detective, believed to have been caught in the crosshairs of fellow law enforcement, were driven past in an ambulance.

O'Neill and the Mayor Bill de Blasio met with the family at a hospital. The detective and sergeant fired, and as they were leaving the store, the detective was apparently shot by uniformed officers. The other officer's condition wasn't immediately clear, but officials said there was concern about his injury. The suspect had been described a man with a firearm, O'Neill said.

Simonsen, a 19-year veteran on the force, was not supposed to have been at work Tuesday, said Detectives' Endowment Association President Michael Palladino.

'There were two guys who put their hands on their heads. "All-time, all the time, he come in my store, all times", one worker said. Investigators are looking into whether Ransom is the same suspect seen on surveillance video robbing a cell phone store on Rockaway Boulevard in January.

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