DOWNTOWN — Two heroic police officers who were shot in the line of duty received a standing ovation from hundreds of fellow cops Friday during a promotion ceremony at One Police Plaza.
Kevin Brennan, 29, who was shot in the head while pursuing a suspect in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on Jan. 31, was promoted to detective. Kevin Herlihy, 47, who was shot in arm after chasing a suspect into a subway station at 145 Street and St. Nicholas Avenue on Feb. 14, was promoted to detective first-grade.
"I think I'm the luckiest man on the planet," said Brennan.
He was standing beside his wife, Janet, and their 8-week-old daughter, Maeve, during a press conference after the ceremony.
"I know how lucky I am," he said again. "I probably shouldn't be here giving this press conference right now."
Brennan was allegedly shot in the head by Luis "Baby" Ortiz. The 21-year-old suspect, who had been wanted in connection with a New Year's Day killing, led Brennan into the back of a building in Bushwick.
The two struggled, and Ortiz allegedly shot Brennan at point blank range. Ortiz has been charged with first-degree attempted murder.
Herlihy, meanwhile, said he was taking things day by day after the shooting, dealing with the intense emotions of being shot.
"I just focus on my family. My wife and kids," said Herlihy, flanked by his wife, Adrienne, and two sons, Dylan and Tyler. "When it gets overwhelming I take a shower. It hides the tears. It doesn't remove the pain. But we talk. We have discussions. And we seek counsel."
Herlihy shot and killed Michael McBride, 52, who was wanted for shooting a 25-year-old woman in the head at Rockaway Park, Queens on Feb. 13.
McBride realized he was being followed by police and ran into the subway station.
Herlihy pursued the suspect and shot McBride after he started to fire at the officers.
Beyond the painful reminders and struggle to cope, Herlihy was able to joke about their recovery.
"Thank God Kevin had a hard head," Herlihy said, "and we're all here today."