NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The suspect accused of shooting a New York City police officer in the head has been charged with attempted murder and faced dozens of angry officers in court on Thursday.
Luis Ortiz appeared before a judge at Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday morning. Prosecutor Lewis Liberman called the shooting an “evil act by an evil individual” and said it was “an assassination attempt.”
LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case
Investigators say Ortiz shot NYPD Officer Kevin Brennan point-blank in the head during a struggle Tuesday night at the Bushwick Houses in Brooklyn.
“This was an attempted assassination by this defendant on police officer Brennan, who I just want to note showed Herculean restraint in not firing his weapon,” Liberman said.
EXTRA: Luis Ortiz Complaint (pdf)
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports
Ortiz did not put on a show Thursday as he did a day earlier when he was led out of the precinct. He yelled out the Latin Kings’ rallying cry, though police said he was not a Latin King. Ortiz’s family also shouted curses while they pounced on the car he was in on Wednesday, CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reported.
Ortiz’s lawyer, meanwhile, said the way the prosecutor slammed his client in court was a grandstand play.
“Those kind of phrases are for you guys and to poison a potential trial,” said defense attorney Eric Poulos.
Poulos also said there is no proof his client was the gunman. Ortiz is being held without bail.
The bullet lodged in the back of Brennan’s head, but miraculously, it did not kill him. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly showed that bullet to reporters.
“He is one lucky young man,” Kelly said.
Police arrested Ortiz hours after the shooting. As he was being questioned at the 90th precinct, Kelly viewed surveillance video that he says showed the entire encounter.
“The officer has his gun out. You also see Ortiz has a gun in his hand. They struggle. You see Ortiz with his arms around the officer’s head and then he’s shot and he doesn’t move after he’s shot,” Kelly said.
Investigators say Ortiz tried to shoot Brennan again but the gun jammed, likely saving the life of the 29-year-old new father.
As fellow officers worked frantically to save Brennan, police said he asked to call his wife and was able to tell her he had been shot, but was okay. He then lost consciousness.
Doctors say Officer Brennan will fully recover.
“Thank God he’s OK. That’s the most important thing,” said Brennan’s neighbor John Skinner. “He can see his baby grow up.”
Ortiz has a lengthy criminal record and police say he is also the prime suspect in a New Year’s day murder.
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