Luis “Baby” Ortiz, a member of the Latin Kings gang, showed no remorse as he was led into court to face the charge of the attempted murder of Irish American NYPD plainclothes officer Kevin Brennan.
Ortiz is accused of shooting Brennan at point blank range in the head. If convicted, Ortiz will spend 40 years behind bars.
Miraculously Brennan is expected to survive his injury and is recovering at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.
Patrolman’s Benefit Association (NBA) President Pat Lynch told the New York Post "He's doing very well. He's up and he's doing therapy, which is going to be extremely hard for him -- what type I don't know. He's surrounded by his family -- family coming in from all around. He's doing well for a very bad circumstance, he's a strong kid and doing well."
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On Tuesday Ortiz was escorted from the 90th Precinct station house in Brooklyn, to be brought to the court house. As the press took his photo the 21-year-old accused said “Yeah, take a picture of me." He blew kisses at his friends and family and made faces at the cameras. In Spanish he shouted “I love the Latin Kings…You know what it is."
His supporters chased after the police car, as he was driven away. They threw plastic bottles and screaming “F**k the police”. His sister banged on the trunk of the car yelling “I hate f***ing cops”.
The New York Post reported that in court “score of cops” sat in the audience to support their injured fellow officer. The prosecutor Lewis Lieberman, from DA Charles Hynes' Assault on Police Officer Program, called the point blank range shooting of Officer Brennan “an evil act by and evil individual”.
Lieberman said Brennan is on morphine and in incredible pain as a result of the shooting. He said prosecutors plan to speak with him later this week.
Defense attorney Eric Poulos said there is no proof that his client was the gunman. He says the criminal complaint doesn't call Ortiz the gunman.
"There is no statement that my client fired the shot," he said.
Poulos complained that Ortiz had bruises to his face and a chipped tooth. He said his client was a victim of police brutality.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said surveillance video shows Brennan in a headlock, then being shot in an alcove and lying motionless as Ortiz fled. He called it "a miracle" that Brennan had survived the shooting.
Criminal Court Judge Charles Troia ordered that Ortiz be held without bail. Ortiz is due to return to court on Monday.
The accused has 14 prior arrests and is wanted for the murder Shannon McKinney, a drug addict known as Shan the Man.
Ortiz’s aunt told the New York Daily News “He's not the type of guy who goes around trying to kill anyone. He'd been arrested for drugs, street stuff but nothing like what the police are saying." However other residents in the area have a different opinion of the gang member who roams the neighborhood with a group referred to as “The Crew”.
Here’s NBC’s video report: