Report: Aaron Hernandez investigated about ’07 Florida shooting
|07.03.13 at 6:34 am ET|
Massachusetts authorities have contacted police in Gainesville, Fla., about a 2007 shooting there to determine if Aaron Hernandez played a role, according to a report from ABC News and ESPN.
Two men were wounded when they were shot in their car a few blocks away from The Venue nightclub on Sept. 30, 2007, during Hernandez’s freshman year with the Gators. A man who was in the car and was not injured, Randall Cason, identified an individual with the shooter as Reggie Nelson, a former Gator who then was a rookie with the Jaguars. Cason, then 20, told police the shooter was a large, muscular Hawaiian or Hispanic male, standing 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 and about 230 or 240 pounds, with a lot of tattoos.
Hernandez had been at the nightclub with Nelson and two other Florida teammates, twin brothers Mike and Maurkice Pouncey (who both now are in the NFL).
Cason told police that his brother had gotten into an altercation with several Florida football players a week earlier. Nelson told investigators that Hernandez told him one of the Pouncey twins had his necklace snatched by Cason, and one of the Pounceys confirmed it. However, Nelson told police that he spoke with Cason and parted on good terms, and that he was not on the street where the shooting took place, leaving 28-year-old Corey Smith and 19-year-old Justin Glass injured. Smith, who was in the front passenger seat, was shot in the back of the head. Glass, who was driving, was shot in the arm. Cason was in the back seat.
“As they were waiting for the light to change, the Hawaiian football player and Reggie Nelson walked up to their car on the right side,” read the police report, which was based on Cason’s account. “Then without saying a [word], the Hawaiian pointed a small handgun in the front right window and fired five quick shots. Cason saw Smith slump over with blood coming out of the back of the head, at which time the Hawaiian and Nelson took off running towards McDonald’s.”
Police said they attempted to interview Hernandez nine days after the shooting, but he declined to speak and “invoked his right to counsel.” That same day, according to the police report, Cason “rescinded his identification of Aaron Hernandez and Reggie Nelson.” While Hernandez’s name was redacted in most of the police report because he was a minor, that appears to indicate at one point he had been identified as the shooter.
Hernandez, the former Patriots tight end, is in the Bristol County jail after being charged last week with murder and weapons offenses in the death of semipro football player Odin Lloyd.