July 8, 2022 By Christian Murray
A Jamaica Queens man was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison Thursday for the 2019 death of Detective Brian Simonsen, a 19-year-veteran of the NYPD.
Jagger Freeman, 28, was found guilty by a jury last month of murder in the second degree and other crimes for his role in a Richmond Hill robbery that led to Simonsen’s death. Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder, who presided over the trial, handed down the sentence that also included 5 years post release supervision.
Freeman, who was involved in several robberies in the area, organized the stickup of a T-Mobile store on 120th Street on Feb. 12, 2019, along with his accomplice Christopher Ransom.
The pair arrived at the store shortly after 6 p.m. before Ransom went inside brandishing what appeared to be a black pistol. He ordered two employees to hand over cash and merchandise, according to court records.
Police arrived as Ransom corralled the two employees in the back room of the store. He pointed the pistol — which turned out to be fake — at the arriving officers and the officers fired their guns, according to the charges.
Simonsen, 42, was shot once in the torso by another officer and died. Sergeant Matthew Gorman was also struck by friendly fire in his left leg and has since recovered.
“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,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. “The jury found the defendant guilty of murder and he will now serve a lengthy time in prison as punishment for his criminal actions.”
The sentencing, according to Katz, also covers a separate cellphone robbery that Freeman participated in on Feb. 8, 2019
Ransom, meanwhile, pleaded guilty in October 2021 to aggravated manslaughter in the second degree and robbery in the first degree. Ransom is currently serving 33 years in prison.
Two years ago, we tragically lost more than a detective, we lost a hero.
His commitment to helping people went on even after he was gone, donating his organs to people in need.
Today, we continue to honor Detective Brian Simonsen’s legacy & vow to #NeverForget. pic.twitter.com/ui6gbHSzgB
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) February 12, 2021