NYPD Officer Kevin Brennan whose family is from Co Donegal has been released from hospital just 10 days after being shot in the head.
More than 200 fellow officers formed a guard of honour and gave him a massive round of applause as he left the Bellevue Hospital with his wife and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly by his side.
As Irish bagpipes played, Brennan rose from the wheelchair and walked slowly to his car, then turned and waved to the cheering police officers.
“It feels great,” a grinning Brennan told reporters from inside his car.
Asked the first thing he would do when he got home to Long Island, Brennan said he would hug his 2-month-old daughter, Maeve.
Officer Brennan was shot in the head as he chased a suspect in the Bushwick Avenue area of the Bronx.
The shooting occurred just after 9 p.m. Jan. 31 at 370 Bushwick Ave., after Brennan and two other officers responded to a call of shots fired at 140 Moore St. nearby.
Luis “Baby” Ortiz, who was wanted for questioning on a murder, has been charged with the shooting of Brennan.
Ortiz faces 25 years to life if he is convicted.
Immediately after the shooting, Kelly called Brennan’s survival “a miracle” and said the young officer was “very, very lucky.”
On Friday, Kelly said Brennan was recovering well and was able to watch the Super Bowl last week.
“All the prognoses I’ve heard are very positive,” Kelly said.
Brennan will continue recovering at an outpatient rehabilitation facility near his home.