An NYPD detective came home to Lynbrook for an emotional reunion with his wife Wednesday less than 24 hours after being wounded in a shootout in a Harlem subway station.
"I'm home and alive," Det. Kevin Herlihy told reporters around noon Wednesday as he walked toward his wife, Adrienne, who was anxiously waiting on the home's walkway.
Herlihy, who has two sons -- 11 and 6 -- and a 13-month-old daughter, said tearfully, "I'm going to hug my family, hug my kids," before embracing his wife for several seconds.
Dressed in blue jeans and a black leather jacket, Herlihy, 47, showed no obvious signs of the gunshot wound to his left biceps from a firefight with a suspect.
An hour earlier, Herlihy was released from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan to the applause of dozens of his colleagues in blue, who formed a human corridor outside the hospital.
As his wheelchair headed to a waiting van, Herlihy flashed a thumbs-up sign with his left hand.
Herlihy was part of a team of Queens detectives tailing Michael McBride, 52, who was wanted on an arrest warrant in the shooting of his girlfriend's 25-year-old daughter in the head, critically wounding her, Monday in Rockaway Park, Queens, police said.
McBride, who was on parole for robbery, ducked into a subway station at West 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem near his home shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday. Herlihy, an 18-year NYPD veteran, and McBride traded at least 16 shots at close range, leaving the officer wounded and the gunman dead.
It was the second time in two weeks that an NYPD officer from Long Island survived a gunshot wound.
The president of the Detective Endowment Association, Michael Palladino, said Herlihy told him he was looking forward to recovering with his family.
"He knows that he's very lucky," Palladino said as the van with the detective drove off from the hospital. "He's anxious to get home with the family and he's anxious, I'm sure, to get back to work."
Palladino also said Herlihy's wife visited him at the hospital Tuesday night, where the two shared "a moving 'I love you' for Valentine's Day."
Shortly after Herlihy returned home Wednesday afternoon, several neighbors arrived with containers of food.
Tara Murphy, who said her son attends school with one of Herlihy's children, brought platters of fruit and cheese, carried by her own daughter and son.
She said she never saw Herlihy as a police officer.
"He was a policeman in the city. Here I see him as a dad," she said.
With Matthew Chayes, Anthony M. DeStefano
and Igor Kossov