It was a chaotic scene outside of the 90th precinct station house Wednesday as alleged trigger-man Luis Baby Ortiz -- who cops say nearly killed Officer Kevin Brennan -- left in shackles, escorted by police to his court appearance.
Kissing at the camera and mugging, Ortiz played to the cheers shouts of friends and family, including his grandmother.
After waving to Ortiz, his family and friends turned on the assembled journalists, swearing and even punching at photographers. While talking exclusively to PIX11, they appeared to be in total denial about a man just 21-years-old -- but with 14 prior arrests. A man who now faces charges for trying to kill a cop who is also father to a six-month-old girl.
Police say they are also eyeing Ortiz in the first killing of 2012 in the 90th Precinct, an unsolved case in which a 34-year-old man was shot in the head New Year's Day.
His family defended their actions during the commotion, with one bystander saying, "That's my nephew to the fullest and I don't believe he did it."
Another woman from the neighborhood dismissed the notion that Ortiz has risen to legendary status thanks to a violent reputation, saying, "Afraid of him? I don't believe that. Afraid of him as in they were raised together, yes, but being violent and all that -- I don't know him that way."
As Ortiz heads to court, friends and family of officer Brennan are counting their blessings. "Thank god he's alive," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
The next job for police will be to find out if the 38-caliber off-brand gun that cops say Baby Ortiz fired, nearly killing Officer Brennan, is the same one used on New Year's Day.
And for 29-year-old Brennan, his focus is on a quick recovery at Bellevue Hospital. Incredibly, Brennan escaped critical injury or possible death when the bullet allegedly fired by Ortiz smashed into his head but didn't do the damage it could have.
The shooting took place after Brennan and another officer responded to shots fired and spotted Ortiz running with two other men and a gun in his hand on Moore street in Brooklyn. They chased and according to police, Ortiz and Brennan entered 370 Bushwick in the Bushwick houses and struggled.
'Baby Ortiz' got Brennan in a headlock and squeezed off 2 shots -- one of them hitting Brennan, according to the police commissioner. The cop fired once but missed the alleged gunman.
Ortiz is expected to be arraigned Wednesday night around 10:30 pm.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun