Police say detective killed by friendly fire

Det. Brian Simonsen was shot and killed by possible friendly fire during the armed robbery at a T Mobile store in Queens

A 19-year veteran detective was fatally shot and a sergeant was injured in Queens on Tuesday night in "what appears to be an absolute tragic case of friendly fire", NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said.

"It's a very hard, painful night for our city".

At Jamaica Hospital, officers guarded the emergency room entrance as O'Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio met with Gorman and offered their condolences to Simonsen's wife and mother.

He was "shot in the chest after confronting suspect" A second officer "was shot in the leg and is recovering".

The incident happened around 6 p.m.in the Richmond Hill section of the borough, according to police officials.

"They did not hesitate". He's said to be in very critical condition. The officers entered and found the suspect pointing at them what appeared to be a handgun.

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The officers didn't see anyone inside through the windows, but spotted a man the moment they went inside, police said.

Arwindern Singh, who lives across the street from the store, said he heard about 20 shots go off and thought they were firecrackers.

"Sources said the detective - who had just a year to go before retirement - was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital, and the sergeant is expected to survive", NY1 reported.

During a Tuesday night press conference, NYPD commissioner James O'Neill said investigators believe Simonsen was killed by friendly fire. Chuck Schumer D-N.Y. tweeted: "We are forever indebted to the courageous NYPD detective who was killed in Queens tonight and the sergeant who was wounded". He was taken to the hospital by a passerby in a civilian vehicle. The suspect had been described a man with a firearm, O'Neill said. A 27-year-old suspect in the robbery, who has an extensive arrest history, was injured and is in custody, police said. "Simonsen is dead", O'Neill said. "We will be there for his family and his fellow officers tonight, tomorrow and every day after that".

Mayor de Blasio echoed the police commissioner's statements saying, "I want to just note how hard it is for our men and women in uniform to go into a situation like this one, to go into a situation where people's live are in danger, where there's someone with a weapon ready to recklessly use it at any moment and our officers, our detectives, our sergeants go in selflessly to protect others and they know it's a moment where they can not hesitate". Brian Simonsen of the 102nd Precinct's detective squad.

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