DEFENDANT FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER IN DEATH OF NYPD DETECTIVE BRIAN SIMONSEN AND WOUNDING OF SECOND POLICE OFFICER DURING BOTCHED ROBBERY
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Jagger Freeman, 28, has been convicted at trial of murder, robbery, assault and other crimes for his role in the February 2019 cell phone shop robbery that resulted in the death of New York City Police Detective Brian Simonsen in February 2019. A second police officer was also wounded when uniformed police responded to the scene and multiple rounds were fired.
District Attorney Katz said, “The jury has spoken. The defendant’s actions set in motion a terrible chain of events that began with an armed robbery in progress and resulted in the tragic loss of Detective Brian Simonsen as well as Sergeant Matthew Gorman being shot in the leg. Following an eight-week-long trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of murder. We express our condolences to Detective Simonsen’s family and hope today’s verdict brings them a measure of closure.”
Freeman, of Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens, was found guilty of murder in the second degree, robbery in the first and second degree, assault in the second degree and grand larceny in the third and fourth degree. A jury rendered its verdict after five days of deliberations. Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder, who presided at trial set sentencing for June 30, 2022. At that time, Freeman faces up to 40 years-to-life in prison.
Freeman’s co-defendant, Christopher Ransom, 30, formerly of St. John’s Place in Brooklyn, pleaded guilty in October 2021, to aggravated manslaughter in the second degree and robbery in the first degree before Justice Holder. Ransom is currently serving 33 years in prison, to be followed by five years’ post release supervision.
According to Court records, on February 12, 2019, Ransom and Freeman arrived at the T-Mobile store on 120th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens, shortly after 6 p.m. Defendant Ransom entered the cell phone business brandishing a black pistol. Ransom ordered two employees inside the establishment to surrender both cash and merchandise from the back room of the store. Ransom was still inside the business when police officers responded to the scene. Ransom pointed his gun – which appeared real – at the police officers, who discharged their weapons in response.
Today’s conviction included robbery in the second and grand larceny in the third degree related to Freeman’s participation in a separate cell phone store robbery on February 8, 2019.
Detective Brian Simonsen, a 19-year-veteran of the NYPD was fatally shot once in the torso. He was 42 years old. Sergeant Matthew Gorman was seriously injured with a bullet wound to his left leg.
Assistant District Attorney Shawn Clark, Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Christina Mavrikis, under the supervision Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.