A New York district attorney says she hopes the family of fallen police officer Brian Simonsen “can finally get some closure” as the suspect whose actions provoked his death in friendly fire in 2019 has been sentenced to 33 years in prison.
Christopher Ransom, a 30-year-old from Brooklyn, was sentenced on Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated manslaughter and robbery in relation to his role in the February 2019 detention of a T-Mobile store. When officers arrived at the scene, Ransom aimed a fake gun at them – prompting police to fire their weapons, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. Simonsen, 42, died after being shot once in the torso.
“My hope is that Detective Brian Simonsen’s family can finally come to some conclusion with the sentencing of this defendant,” she said in a statement. “His lawless, selfish behavior set in motion the horrific events that day. He committed one of several robberies and intimidated the employees of that cell phone store before drawing fire from the police.
BACKWARD: NYPD DETECTIVES KILLED IN FRIENDLY FIRE
“The heartbreaking result was the loss of Detective Simonsen and the injury of Sergeant Matthew Gorman,” Katz added.
Ransom, who was also shot that night, told Fox5 NY, according to Fox5 NY, in a court on Wednesday that “I have slowly over time come to the realization that I am the author of the chain of events that led to Simonsen’s dead and for that I am deeply sorry. ”
“There are no explanations I can give to Detective Simonsen’s mourners why I did not just drop the stupid fake gun when I was told to do so,” he added. “I just have to live with now that I knew things would have played out differently if I had done that.”
In a statement, Ransom’s lawyers at the Legal Aid Society noted that he had been beaten eight times that night after police fired 42 shots in 11 seconds, Fox5 NY reports.
“We hope the NYPD also takes this opportunity to re-evaluate their own procedures and training so that a tragedy like this never happens again,” the statement said.
Katz’s office also said Ransom pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery for a separate incident that occurred on February 8, 2019 – a few days before the police-involved shooting at the T-Mobile store.
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“According to court records, Ransom and a co-defendant arrived on February 12, 2019 at a Richmond Hill T-Mobile store on 120th Street shortly after 6 p.m., being a black gun,” the office added. “Ransom had captured the employees in a back room of the store when the police arrived. He aimed the fake gun at the oncoming police officers. In response, the officers fired their weapons.”
Sgt. Matthew Gorman, who was shot in the leg during that incident, has since recovered.