Saturday, 01 Oct 2022

Man convicted of murder in friendly fire death of NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen

Man convicted of murder in friendly fire death of NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen

Long Island (Writer)-A 28-year-old Queens man was convicted Monday of murder and robbery charges in the 2019 friendly-fire killing of NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen, a Calverton resident.

A Queens jury found Jagger Freeman guilty of second-degree murder, first-and-second-degree robbery and second-degree assault for his role as the lookout during the attempted robbery of a Richmond Hill T-Mobile store that resulted in the fatal shooting of Simonsen by responding NYPD officers, prosecutors said Monday. He was also convicted of third-and-fourth-degree grand larceny in connection with a separate 2019 cell phone robbery.

Freeman, of Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens, rejected an earlier plea deal offer that could have seen him serve 12 years in prison. When sentenced on June 30 by Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

“The jury has spoken," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement on Monday. "The defendant’s actions set in motion a terrible chain of events that began with an armed robbery in progress and resulted in the tragic loss of Detective Brian Simonsen as well as Sergeant Matthew Gorman being shot in the leg. Following an eight-week-long trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of murder. We express our condolences to Detective Simonsen’s family and hope today’s verdict brings them a measure of closure.”

Freeman’s co-defendant, Christopher Ransom, 30, formerly of St. John’s Place in Brooklyn, pleaded guilty in October 2021 to second-degree aggravated manslaughter and first-degree robbery. Ransom was sentenced to 33 years in prison, to be followed by five years’ post release supervision.

Responding NYPD officers fired 42 shots in about 11 seconds, the NYPD said at the time, killing Simonsen, a 19-year veteran of the NYPD. Simonsen’s supervisor, NYPD Sgt. Matthew Gorman of Seaford, was also shot in the left leg but recovered.


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