Nov. 18, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 33 years in prison Wednesday for the 2019 death of Detective Brian Simonsen, a 19-year-veteran of the NYPD.
Christopher Ransom, 30, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and robbery in Queens Supreme Court last month for his role in the February 2019 hold-up of a Richmond Hill store that led to Simonsen’s death.
Ransom and an accomplice held up a T-Mobile store on 120th Street on Feb. 12, 2019. They arrived at the store shortly after 6 p.m. and Ransom ordered two employees to hand over cash and merchandise while brandishing what appeared to be a black pistol, according to court records.
Police arrived as Ransom corralled the two employees in the back room of the store. He pointed the pistol — which turned out to be fake — at the arriving officers and the officers fired their guns, according to the charges.
Simonsen, 42, was shot once in the torso by another officer and died. Sergeant Matthew Gorman was also struck by friendly fire in his left leg and has since recovered.
Two years ago, we tragically lost more than a detective, we lost a hero.
His commitment to helping people went on even after he was gone, donating his organs to people in need.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) February 12, 2021
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said she hopes the sentencing can bring some closure to Simonsen’s loved ones.
“My hope is that the family of Detective Brian Simonsen may finally have some closure with the sentencing of this defendant,” Katz said. “His lawless, selfish behavior set the terrible events of that day in motion.”
Ransom also pleaded guilty last month to another cell phone store robbery, which took place days before the fatal robbery.
“[Ransom] committed one of several robberies and terrified the employees of that cell phone store before drawing the fire of police,” Katz said. “The heartbreaking result was the loss Detective Simonsen and the injury of Sergeant Matthew Gorman.”
He was sentenced to 33 years in prison followed by five years’ post-release supervision.