A 21-year-old man accused of shooting an NYPD officer in the head outside of a Brooklyn housing project did not enter a plea Thursday on attempted murder charges and will remain in jail until a grand jury hears the case next week.
Luis Ortiz, 21, faced a prosecutor who called him evil.
"The evidence of the defendant's guilt is overwhelming. There is very strong evidence. There are civilian eyewitnesses. This was just an evil act by an evil person," said Lewis Lieberman, an attorney with the Brooklyn district attorney's office.
Unlike the raucous scene outside of the 90th precinct Wednesday when Ortiz was walked out in handcuffs and met by vocal supporters, he was quiet during his arraignment and did not appear to have any family or friends in the courtroom.
Lieberman called the incident an assassination attempt on Officer Kevin Brennan, 29, who was shot at point blank range in the right base of his skull while he and two other officers responded to a report of shots fired at the Bushwick Houses. Brennan is recovering at Bellevue Hospital.
Defense attorney Eric Poulos said Ortiz was not guilty and that the prosecution had political motives.
“Praising the police work as exemplary, the police work showed critical restraint, saying the police exercised herculean effort—that’s political, judge," said Poulos.
But the prosecution said surveillance video and other evidence will prove it was Ortiz who was the shooter.
"The bullet that was taken out of police officer Brennan matched the gun that was found outside of the window that the defendant was apprehended at," said Lieberman.
"The gun, as I understand it, was found outside on the ground in a project. The fact that it then matches the bullet in the officer, I don't think leads to my client," said Poulos.
Ortiz was charged with attempted murder of a police officer. He is due back in court on February 6.
If convicted on the charge of attempted murder, he faces 40 years to life in prison.
Police say Ortiz has 13 prior arrests for drug and violence charges, and has spent time in jail.
He was also wanted by police for a New Year's Day shooting.