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July 16, 2019

Career criminal at center of NYPD detective’s death was nicknamed “Detective” because of past arrests for impersonating a cop

February 13, 2019
Career criminal Christopher Ransom was suspected of committing a series of cellphone store robberies before his fatal clash with police on Tuesday night, officials said. (NYPD)

The career criminal who sparked the friendly fire shooting that left an NYPD detective dead has an ironic nickname: Detective.

Christopher Ransom got the street name after being arrested at least twice for impersonating a cop, sources said.


On Oct. 29, 2016, his most recent arrest, Ransom tried to get into the 77th Precinct stationhouse in Crown Heights through a locked door. When he couldn’t gain entry, he jumped over a back fence and went inside. He was wearing a SWAT vest and a police badge when he was arrested on charges including impersonating a cop.

He was arrested in 2010 for claiming to be a police officer during the course of another crime, officials said. That same year, he was busted for trying to sneak into a college building in Brooklyn Heights. When he was stopped, he claimed he was a college student looking for an internship.

Ransom, 27, is now in police custody at New York-Presbyterian Queens after being shot repeatedly by police while allegedly trying to rob a Richmond Hill cell phone store with what turned out to be a fake gun Tuesday evening.

After shooting at Ransom, Detective Brian Simonsen of the 102nd Precinct was fatally shot in the chest by another cop arriving as backpack about 6:15 p.m. Sgt. Matthew Gorman was also hit by friendly fire, in the hip, and is expected to survive.

Detective Brian Simonsen was shot and killed responding to a robbery at a cell phone store Tuesday.
Detective Brian Simonsen was shot and killed responding to a robbery at a cell phone store Tuesday. (NYPD)

Ransom robbed another cell phone store in Queens last month, officials said. On Jan. 19, he allegedly pulled a gun on 28-year-old employee and got away with cell phones and $850 cash from RSK3 Wireless on Rockaway Blvd. near 142nd Place in South Jamaica.

Cops were looking to crack that case and re-released surveillance photos of the suspect asking the public’s help identifying him less than 24 hours before Gorman’s deadly confrontation with cops Tuesday.

Ransom has an extensive criminal history with 25 arrests including turnstile jumping, resisting arrest and grand larceny, sources said. All but eight are sealed, sources said. Most of his arrests over the years were for drug and marijuana possession and possession of stolen property, sources said.

In a bizarre case that made headlines in 2012, Ransom pleaded guilty to criminal impersonation for claiming falsely to be a college student to get internships with judges. A year later, he was charged with ignoring an order of protection barring him from contact with the judges when he tried to weasel his way into the courthouse

He’s been in and out of jail since February 2009 when he was arrested on criminal possession of stolen property charges in Brownsville, Brooklyn, sources said.

“He’s a thief,” one police source said. “A two bit thief.”

Ransom was shot multiple times during his confrontation with cops Tuesday, leaving him in critical but stable condition.

Simonsen, the first line-of-duty fatality since 2017, leaves behind a wife and two children.

“We’ve suffered a profound loss & our hearts are heavy,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea tweeted late Tuesday. “Brian personified the NYPD’s motto, Fidelis Ad Mortem—Faithful Unto Death. A life and death in service to others.”


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