According to The Associated Press, 42-year-old Detective Brian Simonsen, a 19-year veteran of the force, was fatally shot in the chest after officers opened fire on a robbery suspect who appeared to be armed. Another officer, Sgt. Matthew Gorman, suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and is recovering at the hospital.
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Police later learned that the suspected robber, Christopher Ransom, 27, had been carrying a phony firearm, WCBS-TV reported. He also was hurt in the shooting and is reportedly in stable condition.
At a news conference Tuesday night, New York police Commissioner James O'Neill called the incident "an absolutely tragic case of friendly fire," the AP reported.
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"Our hearts are broken again, because a career criminal put lives in jeopardy," O'Neill tweeted late Tuesday. "Det. Brian Simonsen, 42, was a 19-year-veteran of the #NYPD. He lost his life fighting crime & keeping safe all the people we serve. The sympathies of all New Yorkers are with his family & colleagues."
>> See the tweet here
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– The Associated Press contributed to this report.