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Report: Police probe Aaron Hernandez's possible role in 2007 shooting

July 03, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • Former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez, right, with attorney Michael Fee during a bail hearing in Fall River Superior Court on June 27 in Fall River, Mass.
Former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez, right, with attorney Michael… (Ted Fitzgerald / Associated…)

More trouble for Aaron Hernandez.

According to ABC News, authorities in Massachusetts have contacted police in Gainesville, Fla., to determine whether Hernandez, then 17, had a role in a 2007 shooting that left two men injured. He was a freshman football player at the University of Florida at the time.

Hernandez is a former New England Patriots tight end being held in Massachusetts on first-degree murder charges in the slaying of Odin Lloyd.

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” obtained a copy of the police report from the 2007 shooting, in which one of the two men injured was shot in the back of the head.

The report, based on statements to the police, said the two men and a friend had left a Gainesville nightclub and were in their car stopped at a nearby light when their vehicle was fired upon. Corey Smith, 28 at the time, was sitting in the front passenger seat and was shot in the back of the head. Justin Glass, the 19-year-old driver, was shot in the arm. Randall Cason, in the back seat, was unharmed.

Although several witnesses told police the shooter was a black male, Cason told police there were two subjects.

Writes Kelly Nagi of

Cason, then 20, told police that shooter was 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. Cason said there was also a black male with the shooter, and Cason identified the black male as Reggie Nelson, a former Florida Gator who was a rookie with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Nelson, in an interview with the Gainesville police, said he had been at the nightclub earlier but denied he was even on the same street as the shooting.

“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 police report says that Nelson and Hernandez had been in The Venue nightclub along with two other Gators players, Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, twin brothers who now both play in the NFL. After the shooting, investigators interviewed Cason at Shands Hospital. Cason is described as distraught and emotional, and an officer indicated Cason said several times “it should have been him that had been shot and not Cory [sic].” Cason told investigators that a week earlier his brother had gotten into an altercation with several Florida football players.


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