NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An NYPD police officer shot in the head by a murder suspect in Brooklyn 10 days ago left a Manhattan hospital in a wheelchair Friday afternoon to a cheering and clapping crowd of blue.
The sound of bagpipes mingled with a thunderous applause as the 28-year-old was immediately escorted into a waiting vehicle to return home to his wife and 2-month-old daughter, Maeve.
Brennan also received a very special homecoming visit from Tuck, when he showed up at his home. Tuck and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano had been at an unrelated event at a nearby pizzeria.
“This young man has such spirit, such resolve and I think that’s all very much a part of his recovery,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “It’s just amazing, couldn’t ask for anything better.”
1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports
The six-year veteran of the force was shot at point-blank range on Jan. 31 during a struggle with 21-year-old Luis Ortiz at the Bushwick Houses, police said. The bullet lodged at the base of Brennan’s skull.
Brennan’s partner, who was just steps away when Ortiz allegedly fired the shot, said he knows how close this came to a tragic ending.
“He’s a good friend of mine. He’s the toughest kid I know. So he made it out alright,” Officer Michael Burbridge told CBS 2′s Emily Smith.
“If you don’t believe in miracles…you saw [my son] walk out of the hospital…that is a miracle,” said Brennan’s father, Dave.
Kevin Brennan suffered mild brain damage from the injury and doctors said he lost some of his peripheral vision.
Ortiz has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer, assault on a police officer, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing.
Prosecutor Lewis Lieberman called the shooting an “evil act by an evil individual” and said it was “an assassination attempt.”
WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman On The Step Forward For Brennan
Ortiz has a lengthy criminal record and police said he is also the prime suspect in a New Year’s Day murder. Brennan is expected to continue his rehabilitation at an outpatient facility on Long Island.
“Whether or not he’ll return to service is something that the Police Department and he will have to decide,” Dr. Ronald Simon said.
Officials said Officer Brennan wants nothing more than to go back to work, protecting the same streets of Brooklyn where he nearly lost his life.
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