Brooklyn police shooting suspect held without bail

February 3, 2012 4:17:24 AM PST
The 21-year-old career criminal accused of shooting an NYPD officer in the head in Brooklyn was arraigned in court Thursday.

Luis Ortiz made his first appearance in court and was formally charged with attempted murder of a police officer, assault on a police officer, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing in the shooting of Officer Kevin Brennan. He was ordered held without bail.

Meantime, the 29-year-old Brennan is making a remarkable recovery from his very close call with death.

Prosecutor Lewis Liberman called the shooting "an evil act by an evil person" and said it was "an assassination attempt." Liberman said ballistics tests showed that the bullet that struck Brennan matches a gun found outside the apartment where Ortiz was apprehended. But defense attorney Eric Poulos said there's no proof his client was the gunman.

On Wednesday, Ortiz turned his perp walk into a confrontation. As police brought him onto the street outside the 90th Precinct, Ortiz snarled and sneered while his family erupted, cursing police and cheering him on.

The ugly scene threatened to turn violent, with Ortiz's family and friends turning on reporters and throwing cans and bottles.

Ortiz, who has 14 prior arrests, is accused of trying to kill Brennan after he chased Ortiz into the back of the Bushwick Houses housing project Tuesday night.

Both men had their guns drawn.

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has seen the building's surveillance video.

"They struggled, and they fall into sort of an alcove where you can't actually see the shooting," Kelly said. "But you see Ortiz with his arm around the officer's head, and then he shot. The fact of the matter is, this officer was shot at point-blank range with a .38-caliber revolver. Thank God he's alive."

Police say Ortiz may have tried to shoot Brennan a second time, but the gun jammed. Brennan, despite having a bullet in his skull, took the time to call his wife and let her know he had been shot, but that he was doing okay.

Ortiz had also been wanted for questioning in the first killing of 2012 - on New Year's Day around 1:30 p.m., not far from Tuesday night's shooting. A 34-year-old man was shot in the head in a still-unsolved killing. Kelly did not say whether Ortiz was the suspect, but a revolver was believed to have been used.

Photo Gallery: Pictures of Officer Brennan and family

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