19-year veteran NYPD detective shot, killed by friendly fire during robbery in Queens

RICHMOND HILL, Queens (WPVI) -- An NYPD officer was killed by friendly fire during a robbery in Queens on Tuesday night.

The shooting was reported near Atlantic Avenue and 121st Street in the Richmond Hill section around 6 p.m.

The incident unfolded as officers responded to an armed robbery at a T-Mobile store. Police said it turns out the suspect was carrying a fake weapon, but multiple officers fired multiple rounds.

A sergeant and a detective were struck by gunfire. The detective, an 19-year veteran of the force, died from injuries suffered in the shooting.

He was later identified as 42-year-old Det. Brian Simonsen.

Friendly fire aside, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said Simonsen's death is due to the actions of the suspect, described as a career criminal.

Sources say the sergeant was shot in the thigh and his injuries are not life-threatening.

A third member of service was also injured after returning fire, striking the suspect.

At least one suspect was shot and wounded. He was taken to the hospital and was said to be stable.

Sources say another suspect may have been picked up during a traffic stop.

Witnesses told Eyewitness News they heard at least a dozen shots ring out during the incident. Some nearby businesses locked their doors and waited for police to tell them it was safe.

Officers from all over the city responded to Jamaica Hospital after news of the shooting.

This is believed to be the first fatal shooting of an officer in the line of duty in New York City since Miosotis Familia on July 5, 2017.

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