Friends, family say goodbye to fallen NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Friends, family say goodbye to fallen NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen
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Kristin Thorne reports on the wake for Detective Brian Simonsen

HAMPTON BAYS, Long Island (WABC) -- Mourners are gathering for a second day Tuesday to pay their final respects to a fallen hero, NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen, who died in the line of duty.

New York City police officers are joining loved ones to bid a final farewell to Simonsen, while a memorial dedicated to the 42-year-old veteran detective grows outside the 102nd Precinct.

Simonsen's casket arrived at St. Rosalie Roman Catholic Church in Hampton Bays Monday, escorted by an NYPD honor guard and draped in the green, white and blue flag of the department in which he served.

Simonsen, a 19-year veteran, was killed last week by friendly fire while responding to a robbery at a T-Mobile store.

Among the mourners Monday night were Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rep. Peter King, Detectives' Endowment Association President Michael Palladino and NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker, along with scores of officers from the 102nd Precinct.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O'Neill were present Tuesday, as was the wife of fallen NYPD Officer Weijian Liu, who paid her respects to Simonsen's family.

"I want them to know that they are not alone," Sanny Liu said. "We'll always be with them."

O'Neill said there is an internal review underway, and they are looking at the more than 40 gunshots that were fired by seven different officers that night.

Simonsen's wake continues Tuesday from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at St. Rosalie, with funeral services scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Two suspects have been arrested and charged in connection with the robbery that led to Simonsen's death.

Christopher Ransom, 27, was arraigned Friday from his hospital bed on charges of murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, menacing and robbery. He pleaded not guilty.

Jagger Freeman, 25, was arraigned Sunday on charges of murder, robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Police believe he acted as the lookout in the robbery.


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