Man sentenced to 33 years in prison over friendly fire death of NYPD detective

A man with a fake gun whose actions lead to the friendly fire shooting of an NYPD detective was sentenced to 33 years in prison on Wednesday.

Christopher Ransom plead guilty to manslaughter and robbery and took responsibility for the chain of events that led to the death of Detective Brian Simonsen.

In 2019, Ransom held up a T-Mobile store in Richmond Hill, Queens using a fake gun. Several officers responded, but Ransom refused to drop the fake gun.

Police, who did not know the gun was fake, responded and fired shots, but when they did, they not only struck ransom but they also hit Detective Simonsen in the chest, killing the 19-year-veteran of the force.

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On Wednesday, addressing the court, Ransom took responsibility for Simonsen's death.

"I have slowly over time came to the realization that I am the author of the chain of events that led to the death of Simonsen and for that, I am deeply sorry," Ransom said. "There are no explanations I can give To Detective Simonsen's grievers to why I did not just drop that stupid fake gun when I was told to do so. I just have to now live with the fact of knowing that things would have played out differently if I had done so." 

Ransom's attorneys at the Legal Aid Society declined to speak, but in a statement reiterated that while he took responsibility, also wanted to point out that the police fired 42 shots in 11 seconds that night, striking Ransom eight times.

"We hope that the NYPD also takes this opportunity to reexamine their own procedures and training so that a tragedy like this never happens again."