Aaron Hernandez was involved in a “gangland style” drive by shooting that left a man with serious head injuries, which his family believes was covered up to save the rising football star, a bombshell new book reveals.
The former NFL tight-end…who eventually went to prison for murder in 2015 before taking his own life two years later…was a student at the University of Florida in Gainesville in 2007 when he became involved in a nightclub scuffle that turned violent.
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The shocking details are revealed in the book Aaron Hernandez’s Killing Fields.
Hernandez and some fellow football players allegedly tailed one of the men involved in the fight, Randall Cason, who was in a friend’s car.
Cason later told the police Hernandez and another player, Reggie Nelson, approached their car while they were stopped at a light and Hernandez put a handgun through the car’s open window and started to fire, before sprinting away.
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The driver of the car, Corey Smith, was shot in the head and another passenger was hit in the arm, but Cason was unscathed.
Although he identified Hernandez, police recorded other witness statements describing a different man, who was African American rather than Hispanic.
Nelson was questioned by police who said they believed he was just a witness. During his questioning he also identified Hernandez as having been with the group who had the altercation in the nightclub.
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Hernandez was then brought in to be interviewed by police…but not before he had consultation with a lawyer for the Florida Gators, the college team he was playing for at the time.
He refused to speak without a lawyer, and two days later Gainesville Police Lieutenant Keith Kameg announced Hernandez and Nelson were no longer suspects.
At that time Cason had also changed his statement and said Hernandez was not the one who fired the gun.
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However, Smith suffered permanent injuries from the incident that changed his life forever and no one faced justice for his shooting. His family still feels let down by the justice system.
His mother, Sandra Hines, said in an exclusive interview for the book: “We couldn’t find a lawyer, nobody would help us. Not even if we had money to pay them. We were told, like I said, it was him. It was Aaron. Then, all of a sudden it wasn’t Aaron … They let the football players get away with so much and sweep it under the rug, let them get away with it.”
Hernandez was eventually convicted of the murder of his former friend Odin Lloyd but bragged in prison that he had actually killed three other people too. He hanged himself in 2017, leaving behind a wife Shayanna Jenkins, and 4-year-old daughter, Avielle.
Aaron Hernandez’s Killing Fields is now available for purchase.