Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen have ordered all flags at county and town buildings to half-staff following the shooting death of NYPD detective Brian Simonsen.
“Our hearts are heavy from the loss of Detective Simonsen, and our prayers go out to his family,” Curran said in a statement. “This tragedy is yet another reminder of the danger every police officer confronts daily in order to keep us all safe. We must never forget the sacrifices the men and women in uniform make for us all.”
Simonsen, 42, was fatally wounded by friendly fire Tuesday evening while responding to a report of an armed robbery at a T-Mobile store in Richmond Hill, Queens, police commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference.
Simonsen was a 19-year veteran of the department.
“Make no mistake about it, friendly fire aside, it is because of the actions of the suspect that Detective Simonsen is dead,” O’Neill said.
“We are deeply saddened by the heartbreaking events that unfolded Tuesday night in Queens,” Gillen said. “The loss of NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen has left an unmistakable scar on countless people in our region and is a tragic reminder of the constant dangers that men and women in uniform face.”
Christopher Ransom, 27, brandished a fake gun during the attempted robbery, which initiated a 42-bullet shootout with officers, according to police. Ransom was shot eight times and another officer, Sgt. Matthew Gorman, was shot once, police said. Both are currently in stable condition according to an update from police.
Ransom is being charged with murder, aggravated manslaughter, robbery, assault and menacing according to the New York Post.
Flags at all county and town buildings have been directed to remain at half-staff until Simonsen’s interment on Feb. 20.