New York Daily News

Feb. 27, 2012


Det. Kevin Brennan, the hero cop shot in the back of the head, stares down alleged shooter in court

Accused gunman pleads Luis Ortiz pleads not guilty to attempted murder charge

By Oren Yaniv

Police officer and 9/11 first responder Alonzo Harris's discussed carcinogens found on his uniform during a press conference on Sunday. Photo by Kevin Hagen for New York Daily News
Jesse Ward for New York Daily News
Wounded Detective Kevin Brennan watches in Brooklyn court Monday as shooting suspect Luis (Baby) Ortiz pleads not guilty.

Less than a month after taking a bullet to the head, a brave city cop walked into a Brooklyn courtroom Monday and stared down his alleged shooter.

Det. Kevin Brennan, 29, was sitting in the front row, his wife Janet by his side, as cop-hating punk Luis (Baby) Ortiz, 21, pleaded not guilty to an attempted murder charge.

The officer "remembers everything from what happened," the prosecutor said after the hearing, referring to the Feb. 1 struggle in a hallway of a Bushwick housing project which ended with the cop shot point-blank in the skull.

As lawyers huddled with the judge, Brennan stared at Ortiz from across the room, his eyes trained at the man accused of nearly ending his life.

Two more NYPD cops have been shot and survived in the 27 days since Brennan was hit. Police union chief Patrick Lynch called for reinforcements to prevent additional close calls.

"We're 7,000 police officers short," he said Monday outside Brooklyn Supreme Court. "We need help and we need it now."

Ortiz, who blew a kiss to his mom when he walked in, is due back in court April 16.

Three people identified him in a lineup, according to court documents.

Defense attorney Eric Poulos complained that his client, who was not allowed to change from his prison-issued garb, is being treated differently than other defendants.

"Just because the intended victim is a police officer, he should be treated worse?" the lawyer asked. "I don't think so."

About 50 officers filled the courtroom, along with seven of the Ortiz's supporters.

"Kevin Brennan walked into the courtroom on his own powers," prosecutor Lewis Lieberman said after a schedule for motions had been set.

Supreme Court Justice Albert Tomei then cut off Lieberman.

"There's no necessity for editorializing right now," Tomei said. "I submit that the business of the court is finished."