NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An NYPD officer is recovering at the hospital after being shot Sunday in the Bronx.
Officer Nelson Vergara is at Saint Barnabas Hospital in stable condition.
The shooting happened around 4:30 a.m. Sunday on Phelan Place. Vergara was off-duty and just returning home when a group of men drinking on the block began taunting him, police said. One of them then allegedly threw a bottle.
Vergara identified himself as a cop just as another car pulled up, police said.
“A male in his 20s exited the vehicle and began firing several times at a male in that group,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. ”Another in his 20s, the one who threw the bottle.”
That’s when police said the shooter turned his gun on Vergara, who fired back 11 times.
“Pop, pop, pop, pop then another pop, pop, pop, pop again,” said neighbor Keith Brown.
Vergara was hit in the left shoulder and the right shin, officials said and taken to the hospital.
“He is, thank God, in stable condition,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Even though Vergara was hit twice, he managed to arrest the suspect who police said initially threw the bottle. That man was also injured in the shootout.
The alleged gunman was later arrested.
Officer Vergara is not only is a cop, but also a Marine and he took time off from the force to serve two tours of duty in Iraq.
Police are still investigating.
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