Irish cop leaves hospital after being shot in head
THE young Irish NYPD officer who was shot in the head has been released from hospital just 10 days after sustaining his life threatening injuries.
Kevin Brennan, whose family comes from Co Donegal, said the first thing he did was hold his baby daughter Maeve.
The 29-year-old father-of-one is now recovering at an outpatient rehabilitation centre near his Long Island home.
"I feel tired. It feels good to be home," he said. Describing how he had missed his two-month-old daughter, he said: "She's the reason I got through this."
Officer Brennan was met by over 200 fellow officers who formed a guard of honour as he took his first steps from Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.
Accompanied by his wife Janet and the NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, he slowly made his way to a waiting car to be taken home.
"I'm going to hug my daughter now," said Officer Brennan.
His wife Janet had kept a bedside vigil ever since the shooting and had also brought baby Maeve to see her injured father in hospital.
"Everybody is shocked that he's getting out early.
"I mean who do you know that walks away from a head shot wound first of all, and then walks out of the hospital two weeks later?" said Patty Masi, Mr Brennan's sister-in-law.
She added that once he is well enough the family will throw a big party to celebrate, but for now they were focusing on his recovery.
His father Dave Brennan thanked the emergency services, the hospital and his son's colleagues in the police force for all they had done.
"If you don't believe in miracles, you saw my son, you saw him walk out of that hospital. You saw him go into his house with his daughter. That is a miracle," said Mr Brennan.
Dr Ronald Simon, Director of Trauma at Bellevue Hospital also likened Mr Brennan's recovery to a miracle.
"It's pretty close to a miracle that somebody could get shot in the head and from what seems to be pretty near range and have the bullet basically bounce off his skull and not really do much in the way of brain damage.
"If I was him I would certainly feel as if a miracle had occurred," he added.
Officer Brennan was shot in the head as he chased a suspect in the Bushwick Avenue area of the Bronx, New York.
The shooting occurred on January 31 after Mr Brennan and two other officers responded to a call.
Luis 'Baby' Ortiz, who was wanted for questioning on a murder, has been charged with the shooting. Ortiz faces 25 years to life if he is convicted.