By Jill Colvin and Tom Liddy
BROOKLYN — A young police officer with a newborn daughter was shot in the head in Bushwick Tuesday night by a gunman nicknamed "Baby" but miraculously escaped serious injury, relieved officials said.
The bloodshed came just days after an off-duty detective killed a teen who tried to mug him in the neighborhood and just over a month after Det. Peter Figoski was shot to death in Cypress Hills.
"It's a miracle," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who held up a vial containing the slug that was removed from the base of Officer Kevin Brennan's skull in the emergency room at Bellevue Hospital.
"He's very, very lucky. Very lucky."
Officials said that the frightening shooting unfolded at 370 Bushwick Ave., near Moore Street, just after 9 p.m.
Brennan, 29, a decorated seven-year veteran from Long Island, and his partners, Officers, Michael Burbridge and Christopher Mastoros responded to a call of shots fired at 140 Moore St., near Bushwick Avenue.
All three, who were assigned to the borough's anti-crime task force, were dressed in plain clothes.
When they arrived, they saw three men running out of the building, one of whom they recognized, Luis "Baby" Ortiz, 21, of Brooklyn.
Officials believe that Ortiz, who was wanted for questioning about a murder on New Year's Day, was previously arrested by one of the three officers.
Brennan, who has a 6-week-old daughter Maeve, dashed after Ortiz into the first floor hallway of nearby 370 Bushwick Ave.
His partners followed, but were unable to get in because of a problem with the door. One of the officers injured his wrist in the process, possibly in an attempt to get the door open, officials said.
Alone with the officer, Ortiz fired a single shot at Brennan, striking him in the base of the skull below the right ear before fleeing, officials said.
Brennan returned fire, but the round missed Ortiz. It is believed that the suspect shot first, officials said.
Ortiz was arrested about two hours later in a fifth floor apartment in neighboring 390 Bushwick Ave.
NYPD chief spokesman Paul Browne said that when Emergency Service Unit officers knocked on the door, a man who identified himself as Ortiz's uncle answered.
When they asked him if anyone else was in the apartment, he said, "my nephew" and when they showed him a picture of the alleged shooter, the man said "it looks like him."
Cops moved in and found Ortiz sitting on a bed. They took him into custody without incident.
Investigators later found a black revolver with a wooden handle on the ground outside the apartment.
Officials said that Officer Brennan, who was in critical but stable condition, was expected to make a full recovery.
"Thankfully tonight I think there's no reason to think [Maeve's] daddy won’t be there to see her crawl for the first time and, in good time dance at her wedding," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Brennan, whose wife Janet was at his side, said that the officer was fully awake and aware of what was going on.
“Don’t touch me it hurts,” the mayor quoted Brennan as saying. “He said he was in a lot of pain.”
"God in this case was kind…It could have turned out an awful lot worse.”
On Sunday, an off-duty detective on his way to work and killed a teen who tried to mug him in front of 22 Grove St.
Antwain White, 17, hit the cop with a cane while an accomplice grabbed the detective's arm and pretended as if he had a gun, police said.
Cops said that the detective ordered White to stop and identified himself, but the teen refused and was shot.
White was later pronounced dead.
The 15-year-old accomplice was taken into custody, but it was not clear if he was charged.