amNY holding image

amNY holding image

An off-duty cop was recovering Sunday after being shot in the Bronx, officials said.

Nelson Vergara, 36, was heading to his home in University Heights when a group of men started shouting at him around 4:45 a.m. One man threw a bottle and the 12-year-vet, after ID'ing himself as a police officer, was shot twice in the arm and leg -- possiblly by a 22-year-old man who emerged from a green Honda, police said.

Vergara, who returned fire, was in stable condition at St. Barnabas Hospital Sunday, officials said.

At a news conference, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said three men, who were not identified, were arrested in the shooting.

The attack was a reminder of the dangers of illegal guns around the city, the mayor said.

"The gains that the NYPD and its partners have made against crime in our city really are superhuman," Bloomberg said. "But they are undermined -- constantly, consistently, and sometimes fatally -- by illegal guns on our streets."

Vergara has a wife and two children and served two tours in Iraq.

Latest video

DON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access