Officer Kevin Brennan Leaves Bellevue Days After Being Shot in Bushwick
By Ben Fractenberg and Julie Shapiro
MANHATTAN — NYPD Officer Kevin Brennan was released from the hospital Friday afternoon to a standing ovation from fellow cops, just 10 days after he miraculously survived being shot in the head.
Brennan, 29, wore a Justin Tuck Giants jersey as he was wheeled out of Bellevue Hospital just after 1 p.m. with his wife and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at his side.
As bagpipes played, Brennan rose from the wheelchair and walked slowly to his car, then turned and waved to the 200 cheering police officers.
"It feels great," a grinning Brennan told reporters from inside his car.
Asked the first thing he would do when he got home to Long Island, Brennan said he would hug his 2-month-old daughter, Maeve.
A seven-year veteran of the NYPD, Brennan was shot Jan. 31 while chasing a suspect in Bushwick.
The shooting occurred just after 9 p.m. Jan. 31 at 370 Bushwick Ave., after Brennan and two other officers responded to a call of shots fired at 140 Moore St. nearby.
The officers saw three men run from the Moore Street building and allegedly recognized one of them as Luis "Baby" Ortiz, who was wanted for questioning on a murder. The officers chased Ortiz, but when he ran into the first-floor hallway of 370 Bushwick Ave., only Brennan was able to follow.
Ortiz then allegedly fired a single shot at Brennan, which struck him in the base of his skull below his right ear.
Police arrested Ortiz, 21, of Brooklyn, and charged with first-degree attempted murder for allegedly shooting Brennan in the head at point-blank range. During a Brooklyn court appearance Feb. 2, where Ortiz pleaded not guilty, prosecutors called the reputed gang member "evil."
Ortiz faces 25 years to life if he is convicted.
Immediately after the shooting, Kelly called Brennan's survival "a miracle" and said the young officer was "very, very lucky."
On Friday, Kelly said Brennan was recovering well and was able to watch the Super Bowl last week.
"All the prognoses I've heard are very positive," Kelly said.
Brennan will continue recovering at an outpatient rehabilitation facility near his home, the Associated Press reported.
Bushwick residents honored Brennan this week at a 90th Precinct Community Council meeting.