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Christopher Ransom Sentenced To 33 Years For Role In Chain Of Events Leading To NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen's Death

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man who pleaded guilty in the death of NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen in 2019 was sentenced Wednesday to 33 years behind bars.

A crowd of officers gathered outside the courthouse to support Simonsen's family. Inside, the court heard emotional victim impact statements from his mother and wife.

Christopher Ransom pleaded guilty last month to aggravated manslaughter and robbery.

He said Wednesday he was remorseful and stared straight ahead as the judge read the sentence of 33 years, plus five years of post-release supervision.

"I am responsible for the chain of events that led to the death of Det. Simonsen. For that, I am deeply sorry," Ransom said.

The Queens District Attorney's Office said Ransom and an accomplice triggered a terrible chain of events in February 2019 that led to Simonsen's death.

It began with a robbery call at an AT&T store in Richmond Hill, Queens. The court heard how Ransom pointed a fake gun at officers and was repeatedly told to lower his weapon. When he did not, officers opened fire from both sides of the store.

Ransom was shot eight times but survived. Simonsen was accidentally shot in the chest and killed by one of his fellow officers. His partner, Sgt. Matthew Gorman, was also accidentally shot in the leg and has since recovered.

"There are no explanations I can give to Det. Simonsen to why I did not drop that stupid fake gun when I was told to do so," Ransom said.

The police union said Simonsen was not even supposed to be working that night.

"He was off that day, released from duty. He was such a dedicated detective. He went into work and was working on a robbery pattern, and because of his dedication he lost his life," said Det. Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives Endowment Association.

Simonsen's family said they feel like they're waking up to a nightmare every day.

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NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen (Credit: NYPD)

"Because of your bad choices on that horrific night, I lost my world, my rock," his mother, Linda Simonsen, said Wednesday.

"We had so many plans, so much living to do together," said his wife, Leanne Simonsen. "You robbed us of this. You took my joy, you took my life right along with his that night."

The Legal Aid Society, which represented Ransom, said officers fired 42 shots in 11 seconds and hopes the NYPD re-examines its training, so a tragedy like this never occurs again.

However, the family said the blame rests with Ransom.

"Your sentencing is an end date. Mine is a lifetime of heartache," Leanne Simonsen said.

"I hope you think about your actions that caused Brian's death every day," Linda Simonsen added.

Det. Simonsen was a 19-year veteran of the force. He was promoted to detective posthumously.

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