Jurors see video in cop shooting trial
Brooklyn jurors gasped Thursday when they saw video of the man accused of shooting NYPD Sgt. Kevin Brennan of Garden City Park shoot and kill a robbery victim weeks earlier in 2012.
Surveillance video showed defendant Luis Ortiz, 23, fire his gun twice at a man he had just robbed next to a busy supermarket on a Bushwick neighborhood sidewalk on New Year's Day 2012.
Use of the video was allowed by Supreme Court Judge Albert Tomei. Prosecutors said Ortiz was a suspect in the slaying of Shannon McKinney, 34, when Brennan chased after Ortiz.
In the recording, the victim becomes upset when Ortiz approaches and motions for him to turn over his belongings.
The robbery victim goes into his pockets and hands over his belongings and begins to walk away into the street. Ortiz then is seen firing his gun at McKinney. According to police, McKinney was found in the street between two parked cars in a large pool of blood with a $20 bill on the ground nearby.
Ortiz was motionless as he watched the video on an overhead screen inside a Supreme Court room in Brooklyn. Ortiz is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying.
But the case at hand was an attempted murder trial against Ortiz in the shooting of Brennan. If convicted, Ortiz faces 25 years to life in prison.
On Jan. 31, 2012, a month after the shooting death of McKinney, Brennan and several other plainclothes officers answered a call of shots fired in the Bushwick Houses public-housing development.
Police saw Ortiz and chased him into a building at 370 Bushwick Ave. Brennan followed Ortiz up several flights of stairs and tackled Ortiz. Both men struggled and a gunshot was fired, hitting Brennan in the head. Brennan lost some of his peripheral vision and suffered spinal damage, but returned to work earlier this year.
Also Thursday, witness Sharay Snow, a resident of the Bushwick Houses, cried as she told the courtroom that Ortiz came to her apartment and changed his clothes on the day of the McKinney shooting.
Snow testified that Ortiz, in her kitchen that day, passed by without greeting her. "I said to him, 'You are going to pass by me like that?' " Snow testified that Ortiz then made the sign of the cross and kissed her on the cheek.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney John Burke, Snow admitted that she did not tell police that Ortiz came to her home to change his clothes.
Assistant District Attorney Lewis Lieberman then asked why. "I was scared," Snow testified. Lieberman then asked Snow why she was telling the truth in court. "Because it is the right thing to do," she responded.