He was later arrested in apartment 5A in 390 Bushwick Avenue, a building close to where the shooting took place. Mr. Kelly said that Mr. Ortiz was also wanted for questioning in connection with a homicide that happened earlier in January.
Officer Brennan, meanwhile, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center. There, Dr. Ronald Simon and his staff of trauma surgeons used fluid and pressure to excrete the bullet from just behind his right ear, said Dr. Eli Kleinman, the supervising chief surgeon of the NYPD.
He was conscious throughout the entire procedure, said Mr. Kelly, and was later joined by Officer Brennan’s parents and wife Janet, who just 6 weeks ago gave birth to a baby girl named Maeve.
In a macabre moment during the press conference, Mr. Kelly asked Dr. Kleinman to hand him the plastic container holding the bullet.
Mr. Kelly took the plastic evidence bag from Dr. Kleinman and removed the container, its insides bloody from the bullet that had been just moments ago been removed from Officer Brennan’s skull.
“He is one lucky young man,” said Mr. Kelly, holding the container up for the press to see.
Indeed, Officer Brennan was lucky. On December 12th in Cyprus Hills, Brooklyn, Police Officer Peter J. Figoski and his partner were responding to calls of a robbery in progress when he was shot in the face by suspect Lamont Pride as he was trying to escape.
The bullet struck Officer Figoski below his left eye and exited the back of his head. He was rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead five hours after being shot.
Officer Brennan, who was alert and talking with doctors and his visitors following his surgery, was expected to make a full recovery.
For Mr. Kelly, the shooting was just the latest test in a particularly trying period in his otherwise vaunted tenure as police commissioner. His son, recently accused of rape, is being investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He and Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Paul Browne caught the ire of the Muslim community for Mr. Kelly’s appearance in “The Third Jihad,” a controversial documentary on American Muslims (which Mr. Browne gave conflicting statements explaining Mr. Kelly’s involvement in the film).
But there, in his hands, was a container holding that bullet that nearly claimed the life of another one of his men. Luckily for Officer Brennan and for Mr. Kelly, Mr. Ortiz had aimed poorly.
Follow Daniel Edward Rosen via RSS.