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.

The six-year veteran was shot  during a struggle with 21-year-old Luis Ortiz at the Bushwick Houses, police said.

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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Comments (4)
  1. crt820 says:

    if cops stop shooting civillians …civillians will stop shooting cops. violence begats violence. That’s just real. I don’t like the violence I don’t care whose doing it .I also won’t applaud these cops. They watch too much TV and think running through the streets blasting at people is an intellegent way of resolving conflict. They antagonize many of these situations, hopped up on caffine, adrenaline and false confidence, usually making matters worse. Everybody needs to calm down, especially them. No one sees cops as the people who help society anymore. We see them as very dangerouse primarily evil people. There are exceptions. But as a whole the cops have lost the respect of the people a long time ago. Don’t even make eye contact with them. If they smell fear they pounce like the animals they are.

  2. Ret. Det. Scott Nastazio says:

    congrats to the both of you, Det Herlihy on your 1st grade promotion, and also Officer Brennan. I think that even thou one was already a detective, they BOTH should have received 1st grade status, Anyone who takes a bullet in the line of duty clearly deserves the money, Why give it to them when they die in the line of duty, Let him enjoy it also, as he is alive to see it. Stop being so cheap NYC and NYPD. There are plenty of people on the NYPD who clearly dont even deserve being a Detective, let alone promoted to 2nd and 1st, These officer both deserve 1st grade for they went far and beyond the cal of duty.

    1. William says:

      I agree 100%… They BOTH earned 1st Grade… We shouldn’t have to shake our head at this, but the City seems to always manage to make us. Any way, congratulations to them both!!

  3. Capt. Bill's Daughter says:

    congratulations detective herlihy and officer brennan! my dad was nypd for 30+ years, and i know what it’s like to have family in your positions. he is now in an alzheimer’s facility, but would be proud of your bravery and service to the people of new york. your families are also owed our gratitude. be safe from an extended member of the family of the long blue line.

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