Man convicted in NYPD friendly-fire death of Det. Brian Simonsen gets 30 years to life in prison

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Thursday, July 7, 2022
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Jagger Freeman was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the friendly-fire death of Detective Brian Simonsen.

KEW GARDENS, Queens (WABC) -- A man convicted of murder in connection to a 2019 store robbery that led to the friendly fire death of NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison Thursday.

Jagger Freeman, 28, was convicted of murder, robbery, assault and other charges last month.

Simonsen died in hail of police gunfire as multiple officers responded to the robbery of an electronics store in Richmond Hill in February 2019.

Freeman and a co-defendant, 30-year-old Christopher Ransom, were robbing a T-Mobile store when a group of officers - including Simonsen - rushed to the scene and confronted both.

Ransom had a realistic looking imitation pistol and pointed it at officers.

Officers fired their own weapons, and the 42-year-old Simonsen, a 19-year veteran of the force, was struck in the chest and killed.

Another officer, Sergeant Matthew Gorman, was seriously injured with a bullet wound to his left leg.

"The defendant orchestrated a string of robberies, the last of which involved an imitation weapon and led to the tragic loss of Detective Brian Simonsen and the wounding of Sergeant Matthew Gorman," District Attorney Melinda Katz said. "The jury found the defendant guilty of murder and he will now serve a lengthy time in prison as punishment for his criminal actions. We continue to express our condolences to Detective Simonsen's family and fellow service members."

Ransom, who was shot eight times but survived, previously pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated manslaughter and first-degree robbery and was sentenced to 33 years in prison.

"Detective Brian Simonsen was a beloved cop and DEA Delegate who was highly dedicated to the community he proudly served and his fellow Finest he represented," Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said. "If not for the planned robbery carried out by Jagger Freeman, Brian would be with us today. We said justice would be served - and we hope today's sentence of 30 years to life will ensure Freeman is never set free from prison where he belongs. The DEA commends Justice Holder for ensuring a rightful punishment."

ALSO READ | Simonsen's widow talks about his life one year after his death

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