Hero NYPD cop who survived bullet wound to head wants back on force
EXCLUSIVE: Says the 'luck of the Irish‘ saved him on fateful day he was shot in New York
How many people can say they’ve survived a gunshot to the skull that was fired only five inches from the head?
NYPD Detective Kevin Brennan is one of the very few, and he reckons the luck of the Irish was on his side during the fateful night on January 31 when he was shot on duty by a career criminal during a chase in Brooklyn.
“Yes, absolutely, the luck of the Irish,” he laughed during an exclusive interview with the Irish Voice this week.
Brennan, 29, knows how incredibly fortunate he is to be alive. A true miracle man, he spent only 10 days in Bellevue Hospital after he was rushed there for emergency surgery after the shooting to remove the gunshot from his head.
Brennan’s story of survival against all odds became an international media sensation, but the soft-spoken officer is taking all the attention in his stride, focusing on his recovery and responsibilities to wife Janet and baby daughter Maeve, only 13 weeks old.
Speaking to the Irish Voice from his home in Garden City Park, Long Island, Brennan says he’s also had more time to get in touch with his Irish roots while he recovers. This Thursday, the American Ireland Fund will honor Brennan at an event in New York, and he plans on going to Ireland for the first time next year.
“My grandparents were born there. My family comes from counties Kerry and Cork,” Brennan says.
“And my wife is Irish from the South Side of Chicago. I thought I had a big family (Brennan has three brothers) until I met her – she’s one of 14, and her maiden name is Dempsey.”
Brennan says he and his brothers were always aware of their Irish roots while growing up in Bellmore, Long Island. But he’s the only one who choose a career in law enforcement – one brother is a teacher in Hong Kong, another is an electrician with Local 3 in New York, and the third works in insurance sales in the city.
Brennan always gravitated towards police work, he says, and he joined the NYPD six years ago. He’s a member of the NYPD Emerald Society, and for the past few years he’s marched with the group in the Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s Day parade.
But not this year. “Obviously because of everything that has happened I’m going to be unable to march, but I’ll be watching from home,” he says.
Daughter Maeve, the couple’s only child, is clearly the light of her dad’s life. And her Irish name was given so that she’d stand apart from the crowd.
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