UPDATE: Kelly says shot officer in pain but “extremely lucky”
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said this morning at a press conference that Officer Kevin Brennan is in pain, and in and out of consciousness, but lucky to be alive.
“This officer was shot at point-blank range with a .38 caliber round,” Kelly said, who visited him this morning at the hospital. “Thank God he’s alive.”
Police arrested the man they say is responsible for shooting the officer in the head last night.
Police found Luis Baby Ortiz at 11:20 p.m last night inside a Bushwick apartment, just hours after Brennan was shot, according to the NYPD.
Ortiz, 21, was also wanted for questioning in connection with a drug-related homicide committed on New Year’s Day, according to Kelly.
Brennan, 29, was grazed by a bullet to the head while responding to a call of shots fired at the Bushwick Houses, a public housing complex. Brennan was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where doctors successfully removed the bullet from the right base of his skull, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking at a late-night press conference at the hospital.
Brennan is in critical but stable condition, said the mayor.
The shooting occurred at about 9 p.m. in a parking lot outside the Brooklyn Houses at 370 Bushwick Ave.
Kelly said video from the scene shows Ortiz with a gun in his hand, falling into an alcove with Brennan, then Ortiz with his hand over the officer’s head before the shot.
Ortiz tried to fire another shot sometime after that, Kelly said, because the gun showed another attempt to discharge.
The single bullet fired at Brennan’s head lodged in between skin and skull, Kelly said.
About 500 police officers combed the public housing complex, according to PIX 11 News, searching for Ortiz.
According to Bloomberg, Brennan has been a member of the NYPD since July of 2005, and, just six weeks ago, his wife Janet gave birth to a baby girl, named Maeve.
“Thankfully tonight I think there’s no reason to think her daddy won’t be there to see her crawl for the first time – and in good time, dance at her wedding,” said the mayor. “But tonight, we have someone who’s dedicated his life to protecting all of us, who has had a much too close brush with death tonight because of what appears to be an illegal gun.”
The shooting of Officer Brennan comes a month after a 22-year veteran NYPD officer, Sgt. Peter Figoski, was shot and killed in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, while interrupting a drug robbery.