UPDATED: 2019/02/13 1:00PM
A New York Police Department detective was shot and killed in the borough of Queens on Tuesday. As Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill stated, it was an apparent incident of friendly fire. As the two officers went into the store where the incident took place, a suspect came out of a back room with a replica handgun. The detective and sergeant fired, and as they were leaving the store, the detective was apparently shot by officers unaware of the situation.
The detective who lost his life was Brian Simonsen, 42, and a 19-year veteran of the department.
“Once again our hearts are broken in the NYPD,” Commissioner O’Neill said, and went on to cite that while friendly fire was what ended Simonsen’s life, the true fault lies in the actions of the suspect, who O’Neill describes as a 27-year-old career criminal.
Before Tuesday, eight US police officers had been killed by firearms while on duty in 2019, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website.