Brian Simonsen, 42, has been identified as the New York City police department officer who was tragically killed by friendly fire on Tuesday, February 12.
According to the New York City police department, Simonsen — a 19-year veteran of the NYPD — was fatally wounded by a fellow officer as they were responding to an attempted armed robbery.
The NYPD says that as officers were responding to a report of an armed robbery in Richmond Hills, Queens, around 6:10 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 12, Simonsen was struck in the chest after officers on the scene fired “multiple” rounds.
The New York Times reports that Simonsen and another officer in the 102nd Precinct detective squad were responding to a report of an armed man inside of store on Atlantic Avenue near 120th Street.
When the responding officers — who were reportedly wearing street clothes — entered the shop, they saw the suspect wielding what appeared to be a handgun and began to open fire. It was at this time that Simonsen was shot in the chest.
In addition to Simonsen, a second officer was shot in the leg, although he is currently considered to be in stable condition.
In a statement, New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill called Simonsen’s death “an absolute tragedy.”
“This is an absolute tragedy, the worst outcome any police officer or family of a police officer could ever imagine. Friendly fire aside, it is because of the actions of the suspect that Detective Simonsen is dead,” O’Neill said.
In addition to O’Neill’s statement, New York Senator Chuck Schumer released a statement on Twitter, saying that the city of New York is “forever indebted” to Simonsen.
“We are forever indebted to the brave NYPD detective who was killed in Queens tonight and the sergeant who was wounded. May God bless them and their families,” the tweet read.
Simonsen is the first NYPD officer to be killed in the line of duty since July 2017, according to police officials.
That is all the information that is available at this time. This article will be updated with new and relevant information should it become available. If there is anything that we missed, please reach out to [email protected]