The man accused of shooting a New York City police officer point-blank in the head was also wanted in the first killing of 2012, department officials said Wednesday.
Luis Ortiz, 21, was being held on a charge of attempted murder of a police officer after the shooting Tuesday evening in Brooklyn. Officer Kevin Brennan was shot in the head but is expected to recover.
Ortiz was suspected of firing two rounds at someone, which brought the officers to the scene, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday. He fled, and Brennan pursued him around the back of the building at the Bushwick Houses public housing development, where the two squeezed through an open emergency exit before it shut behind them. The two other officers who responded with Brennan were trapped outside.
Surveillance video showed Brennan in a headlock, then being shot in an alcove and lying unmoving while the suspect flees, Kelly said.
Ortiz was caught near the scene about two hours later at an apartment where his uncle was staying, police said. A revolver was found outside, but police are still investigating whether it fired the bullet that lodged in Brennan's skull.
(Photo: Recovered weapon near scene where officer was shot. Courtesy of the NYPD)
Police are also investigating where the gun was bought.
Ortiz had 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.
Kelly said Ortiz also had 14 prior arrests. Ortiz was in police custody, and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney. There was no answer to a call to the address that police provided.
After the gunman fled, the two officers pried open the emergency door, saw Brennan and called for an ambulance. There was no time to send the officer to the operation room, so doctors pulled the bullet from his head in the emergency room.
"He is one lucky young man," Kelly said Tuesday evening, as he held up a jar containing the bloody bullet during a news conference at Bellevue Hospital Tuesday night.
Brennan remained in critical but stable condition Wednesday. He was in a lot of pain, Kelly said.