Officer Kevin Brennan, a 6-year NYPD veteran and new father whose daughter was born just 6 weeks ago, was out last night on an urgent call in Bushwick. He and his partner were in pursuit of a man with a gun. On the first floor of the Bushwick Houses project at 370 Bushwick Avenue, Brennan was shot in the base of the skull.
Eyewitness Jenny Rios was weeping at what she had seen. She said Brennan was yelling “I got hit! I got hit!” and was bleeding from the mouth. She said they tried to revive him, pressing on his neck. But he looked like he was in bad shape: “He looked critical.”
Bushwick was in chaos. Minutes after Brennan was shot in the neck, Cary Dickenson reported that the “entire police force in BK” was storming down Grand Street. Adam Ziemba and Katie Summerfield said helicopters and police cars were circling their apartments. ”You know how I always say nothing bad seems to happen in the projects by my apt?” Kira Bindrim said.
Dozens of police (or hundreds, by some accounts) descended on the projects. Dana Arschin posted some great video documenting the police action. Matt Jarosz reported that a hostage negotiation team rolled up to the building and a SWAT team surrounded it.
“Some hipster just rode his bike right through the police blockade. Yelling ensued,” Matt said. “Only in Brooklyn.”
Brennan was rushed to Bellevue Hospital. In fact, he was in critical condition.
Here’s the first pic we saw of the suspect–probably the first such photo to make it out of the crime scene–a 21-year-old Hispanic male named Louis “Baby” Ortiz, who is wanted for questioning in a homicide that took place on New Year’s Day. Some reports suggest they already knew who he was before they pursued him. He was arrested at 390 Bushwick Avenue:
What happened next was unexpected. It should have been a routine press conference with Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. It was one of the strangest ever.
Kelly decided to hold up the bloody bullet fragment taken from the skull of officer Kevin Brennan.
“Kelly has LOST IT. He displays the bullet removed from the officer’s head,” lawmanbrooklyn wrote. “It’s in a bloody vial, and he shakes it around. Aside from the legal, chain of custody issue, what a tasteless and STUPID thing to do. Something is wrong with Kelly. Time for him to go.”
“Is it REALLY necessary to show the bullet removed from a man’s skull on local television?” Jenn Levine asked. ”Really?”