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Queens man sentenced to 30 years for role in NYPD detective’s death


A 28-year-old Queens man will spend decades in prison for his role in the February 2019 friendly-fire death of NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen. 

A Queens Supreme Court justice today sentenced Jagger Freeman to 30 years to life following his conviction last month of second-degree murder charges in connection with Simonsen’s death. Following an eight-week jury trial, Freeman was also found guilty of robbery, assault and other charges arising out of the botched and fatal holdup of a Queens cellphone shop and of robbery and grand larceny for the robbery of another cellphone store days earlier. Freeman’s prison term will be followed by 5 years post release supervision, according to Justice Kenneth C. Holder’s sentence.

Simonsen, 42, and his partner and supervisor, Sergeant Matthew Gorman, who were in the neighborhood of the T-Mobile store on 120th Street near Atlantic Avenue doing surveillance on another case, and six other officers pulled up to the Richmond Hill outlet following 911 calls of an armed robbery in progress.  

Gorman and two other officers entered the store and were immediately confronted by Freeman's accomplice, Christopher Ransom, who raised a black firearm, later found to have been fake, and charged at the officers, who retreated. 

When Ransom reached the front of the store, all but one of the officers fired, hitting him several times, but also fatally wounding Simonsen and hitting Gorman once in the leg.

Ransom, 30, was sentenced in November to 33 years in prison following his guilty plea to aggravated manslaughter and robbery charges. 

"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," the Detectives' Endowment Association's president, Paul DiGiacomo, said in a statement following the sentencing. "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 the prison where he belongs. The DEA commends Justice Holder for ensuring a rightful punishment."

District Attorney Melinda Katz said Freeman’s actions precipitated the death of Simonsen, a 19-year NYPD cop. “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,” she said in a statement. “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.”


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