An ESPN report said authorities are looking into Aaron Hernandez's possible involvement with yet another unsolved crime, although the Gainesville Police Department said that is not the case.
At this rate, by the end of the month people might look into whether Hernandez shot Tupac or Notorious B.I.G., whether he has ever heard of the Zodiac Murders, if he could have been on the grassy knoll when John Kennedy was killed and if he knows where Jimmy Hoffa's body is buried. Maybe O.J. Simpson will question Hernandez in his quest to find the real killers.
ESPN reported police are trying to determine if Hernandez, who has been charged with first-degree murder in one case and is being investigated for any possible involvement in a 2012 double murder in Boston, played any role in a 2007 shooting in Gainesville that left two people injured. However, Gainesville police publicly refuted that, saying that there has been no inquiries about that case from other authorities and it hasn't released any incident report on it.
Here is the statement from the Gainesville Police Department, which was posted on its Facebook page:
The Gainesville Police Department is aware that members of the national media are reporting on GPD Case 02-07-020053, a shooting investigation from an incident report obtained from sources outside of the Department. The stories also mention that Massachusetts law enforcement agencies have contacted the Gainesville Police Department about the investigation.
The Gainesville Police Department has not been contacted by any other law enforcement agency about this incident. The Gainesville Police Department has not released any incident report concerning this case, due to it being an open criminal investigation. Any alleged reports currently circulating may or may not be accurate, since the Gainesville Police Department did not release any reports. The origin of these alleged reports is unknown.
Due to the case being classified as an open criminal investigation, the Gainesville Police Department will not be releasing an incident report nor commenting on this open investigation.
The ESPN story was very detailed, and here is what it reported on the incident:
ESPN said Hernandez (who was only 17 at the time) and Florida teammates Mike and Maurkice Pouncey and Reggie Nelson were at The Venue nightclub on Sept. 30, 2007. Nelson told investigators that Hernandez said a man at the club, Randall Cason, had stolen a necklace from one of the Pouncey twins.
Cason and two men left the club and were at a stoplight blocks away when shots were fired into their car, ESPN said. The man sitting in the passenger seat, Corey Smith, was shot in the back of the head. ESPN said Smith still suffers seizures as a result of the shooting. The driver was shot in the arm. Cason, sitting in the back, was unharmed.
The ESPN story said several witnesses told police the shooter was a black male but Cason said there were two suspects, "a 'Hawaiian' or 'Hispanic' male who had a large muscular build, stood about 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4, weighed about 230 or 240 pounds and had a lot of tattoos," and a black male that Cason identified as Nelson. Nelson denied he was on the same street when the shooting occurred, according to the story.
The ESPN story cited the police report and Cason's story to detectives:
"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," according to the police report, which cited what Cason told detectives. "Then without saying a work [sic], 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."
The report said that Gainesville police tried interviewing Hernandez nine days later but he invoked is right to counsel. That day, Cason "rescinded his identification of Aaron Hernandez and Reggie Nelson," ESPN said.
[Related: Curious twist in Aaron Hernandez case]
ESPN said Massachusetts authorities reached out to Gainesville police in hopes of determining if Hernandez had any role in that 2007 shooting, although Gainesville police have since taken the rather unusual measure of denying that publicly.
Also in Hernandez news, Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson told USA Today that he will not allow Hernandez to get married to his fiancee and the mother of his child, Shayanna Jenkins. while he is in jail. If the two were married, Jenkins could be shielded from testifying against Hernandez in his murder trial.
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