Ransom pleads guilty to killing NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen

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QUEENS, NY – Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Christopher Ransom, 30, has pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter for the February 2019 death of New York City Police Detective Brian Simonsen. The defendant has also pleaded guilty to robbery for holding up the mobile phone store that brought police to the Richmond Hill location and culminated with multiple rounds being fired.

District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant set in motion a terrible chain of events that began with a robbery and ended in a spray of bullets when Ransom pointed what appeared to be a deadly firearm toward police officers. The defendant was repeatedly told to lower his weapon but did not do so. The heartbreaking result was the loss of Detective Simonsen’s life and Sergeant Matthew Gorman being shot in the leg. We express our condolences once again to Detective Simonsen’s family and hope today brings them a measure of closure.”

Ransom, formerly of St. John’s Place in Brooklyn, today pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the second degree and robbery in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. He also pleaded guilty to robbery in the second degree for a separate robbery on February 8, 2019. Based on the negotiated plea, Justice Holder is expected to sentence Ransom to a total of 33 years in prison to be followed by five years post release supervision at sentencing on November 17, 2021.

According to Court records, on February 12, 2019, Ransom and a co-defendant arrived at the T-Mobile store on 120th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens shortly after 6 p.m. Ransom entered the business brandishing a black pistol. He ordered the two employees inside to surrender both cash and merchandise from the back room of the store. Ransom was still inside the location when police officers responded to the scene. He pointed the gun – which appeared real – at the police officers, who discharged their weapons in response.

Detective Brian Simonsen, a 19-year-veteran of the NYPD was fatally shot once in the torso. He was 42 years old. Sergeant Matthew Gorman was seriously injured with a bullet wound to his left leg.

Assistant District Attorney Shawn Clark, Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.­

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