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Police Officer Kevin Brennan Honored by Bushwick Residents After Shooting

By Meredith Hoffman | February 9, 2012 4:12pm
NYPD Officer Kevin Brennan was shot in the head at the Bushwick Houses on January 31, 2012.
NYPD Officer Kevin Brennan was shot in the head at the Bushwick Houses on January 31, 2012.
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BROOKLYN — Police Officer Kevin Brennan nearly lost his life last week after being shot in the head while on patrol in Bushwick — but he's miraculously "up and walking" only days after the harrowing incident, his boss said Wednesday.

At the 90th Precinct's Community Council meeting Wednesday, local residents gave the officer and his precinct a heartfelt thank you for their service, after Brennan was shot in the head while pursuing suspected gunman Luis "Baby" Ortiz.

Brennan, a 29-year-old father of a newborn, received a citation of honor from a representative of Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Deputy Inspector Michael Kemper accepted it on the officer's behalf.

Brennan "is still in the hospital, but he's up and he's walking," Kemper said.

Ortiz, 21, is charged with shooting the officer in the head at point-blank range after a chase that started on Bushwick Avenue Jan. 31. He was indicted Tuesday on first-degree attempted murder charges.

Brennan's work was not lost on the residents of the Bushwick Houses. More than 100 residents of  the complex turned out for Wednesday's meeting to honor Brennan and other local cops.

"We all thought it was our duty to come out and support," said Virginia Torres, a board member of the Lindsay Park housing development, where the meeting was held. "None of us has ever thought something so horrific could happen."

Torres and other residents also applauded the NYPD's heightened vigilance in the neighborhood over the last year and its decision to put more cops on street corners.

"This community is diversifying and growing, and the 90th [Precinct] has made it so much easier to feel safe," Torres said.

Still, many residents of the Lindsay Park Housing Corporation, a city-run development with about 10,000 families, remain fearful of violence in the neighborhood.

"My seniors are afraid," said Cora Austin, president of the Lindsay Park Housing Corporation, about the senior citizens who live in the two buildings closest to where the shooting occurred.

"They're scared to death."

Austin has been satisfied, however, with the 90th Precinct's efforts to combat the drugs, petty crime and violence that she said still plague the neighborhood. Nonetheless, she said more work needs to be done.

"We have to work very closely with the 90th," she said.