BRISTOL, Conn. — Police believe former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was in an SUV when someone inside shot two people to death in Boston in 2012, according to a search warrant filed in Connecticut.
The warrant does not indicate who investigators believe pulled the trigger or suggest a motive in the shootings of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado in Boston’s South End. No charges have been filed in the case. An attorney for Hernandez did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday.
Hernandez came under scrutiny in the shootings following his arrest in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player whose body was found June 17 near Hernandez’s North Attleborough, Mass., home. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in that case.
In searching a home of Hernandez’s uncle in Bristol, Conn., in June, police found the SUV wanted in connection with the 2012 shooting in Boston.
The new search warrant, first reported by the Hartford Courant, was filed in Bristol Superior Court and dated Dec. 11. It sought recordings of phone calls made by a Hernandez associate, Alexander Bradley, while Bradley was jailed in Hartford in October for failing to appear before a Massachusetts grand jury investigating the 2012 shootings.
Bradley has alleged in a pending lawsuit in Florida that Hernandez shot him in the face after they argued outside a Miami club in February 2013.
The search warrant filed by Bristol police provides some of the first details of Hernandez’s alleged link to the Boston shooting.
Surveillance camera recordings showed Hernandez and Bradley going into the Boston nightclub Cure about 12:30 a.m. on July 16, 2012, shortly after the shooting victims went into the club, according to the warrant.
Hernandez’s movements inside the club weren’t recorded, but police said Hernandez quickly downed two drinks and that he and Bradley left after about 10 minutes. Surveillance video then showed Hernandez driving a Toyota 4Runner SUV out of a nearby parking garage with Bradley as a passenger, police said.
The footage shows the victims leaving the club at about 2:10 a.m., and Hernandez’s SUV passing by them twice as they walked to a parking garage to get their car, the warrant says. The shooting wasn’t caught on any cameras.
A third man who was shot in the car but survived, Aquilino Freire, told police an SUV pulled up next to them while they were stopped at a traffic light, and he saw someone in the SUV’s back seat laughing, the warrant says. Then, several gunshots were fired from the rear passenger seat into the car, Freire told police. Two other people in the car ran away, Freire said.
A witness in another car told investigators that he saw an SUV with Rhode Island license plates run a red light, stop next to the victims’ car and he heard six gunshots. He described the SUV driver as a light-skinned Hispanic man with short, dark hair.
Another witness gave authorities the same description of the driver and said there was a passenger with hair that was either braided or had beads in it. The witness wasn’t sure if the passenger was a man or woman.
Hernandez has short, dark hair, as does Bradley, according to police booking photos.
When Bradley was being detained at the Hartford Correctional Center, he was informed that all phone calls by prisoners are subject to monitoring. An announcement repeated randomly during phone calls tells both people on the call that it is being recorded, the warrant says.
A correctional officer who was monitoring Bradley’s calls alerted Bristol police that he believed Bradley discussed details of the Boston shooting in calls to people whom police did not identify. That led police to apply for the search warrant.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press