NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Two hero police officers, who were shot when they struggled with armed suspects in two separate incidents, received standing ovations on Friday when they were promoted during a ceremony in Manhattan.
Detective Kevin Herlihy, 47, of Lynbrook, who was shot and wounded at a Harlem subway station on Valentine’s Day, is now detective first grade.
“I’m overwhelmed with a lot of joy and thankful to the Lord that we are here today to celebrate, that we are here to spend this with our family,” the 21-year veteran of the force said.
1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports
Herlihy was shot in the arm during a confrontation with 52-year-old Michael McBride, who was wanted in the shooting of his girlfriend’s 25-year-old daughter. He returned fire, killing the suspect wanted for murder.
Police say McBride, being pursued by police at the subway station at West 145th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue, was shot in the chest and collapsed on a flight of subway stairs.
Herlihy was quick to credit his training.
“When the —- hits the fan, you just stick out your arm and shoot. No aiming, no sightlines, you go for an ankle, whatever to take him out. It’s just instincts,” he said.
“Before everything happened my life was nice and hectic and I liked it. I take care of the kids, please the wife, I’m happy she’s happy,” he added.
Also promoted was miracle cop Kevin Brennan, 29, of Garden City Park. He is now a detective, but his recovery is taking longer.
“It was overwhelming. I was fighting back tears,” he said.
Brennan admits he probably shouldn’t be alive right now, shot in the head at close range in Brooklyn on Jan 31. Ten days later, after a bullet was removed from his skull, he was home, looking into the eyes of his beautiful baby daughter Maeve.
“I realized how much I loved her,” he said. “Getting better and progressing meant everything so I could go home and see my daughter.”
“I think I’m the luckiest man on the planet, I know how lucky I am,” he added.
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.”
Ortiz has a lengthy criminal record and police said he is also the prime suspect in a New Year’s Day murder.
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