Boston police have been investigating whether former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, who has been charged in a 2013 homicide, may have been the gunman in a 2012 double slaying, according to a search warrant released on Thursday.
The warrant released today states police have probable cause to believe Hernandez was the driver and the shooter in a July 2012 shooting that killed Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28, in Boston's South End.
Hernandez, who is awaiting trial on murder charges in a 2013 shooting near his North Attleboro, Mass., home, was seen on surveillance footage in Club Cure, the same Boston nightclub the victims visited on the night of the July 16, 2012, attack in Boston, authorities have said.
The newly released documents in Connecticut confirm for the first time that police suspect Hernandez could have carried out the shooting.
No charges have been filed in the deaths of Abreu and Furtado, who were fatally shot when somebody inside an SUV opened fire on their car. A third person who was shot survived.
Days after that shooting, witnesses who worked at a nearby nightclub told police they saw a silver SUV with Rhode Island plates at the scene, heard several rapidly fired gunshots and then saw the SUV speed off. Authorities had not been able to find the car of identify a suspect.
On June 19, 2013, Boston police learned that Hernandez was being investigated for a homicide in North Attleboro and detectives recalled seeing a man "clearly recognized as Aaron Hernandez" in video footage from Club Cure on the morning of the Boston shooting, the warrant states.
On June 22, North Attleboro police received an anonymous tip from a caller saying he had knowledge that the Lloyd homicide and the double homicide were related, according to the warrant.
When asked how he knew this, the tipster told authorities that "someone acidentally spilled the beans in front of me."
A June 28 Boston police affidavit, released by Superior Court in Bristol, Conn., states there is probable cause to believe that Hernandez was driving the vehicle used in the shooting and "may have been the shooter."
Hernandez is a Bristol, Conn., native and the affidavit was filed as police sought to search an SUV they say was involved in the shooting and was found at Hernandez's uncle's Lake Street home in Bristol.
The warrant is for the silver Toyota, paperwork in Hernandez's name, clothing seen in surveillance footage from the night of the Boston shooting, fingerprints, hair, bodily fluids, ammunition and more from the vehicle. It is also for a bag of clothing left at the home police were told belonged to Hernandez.
A Rhode Island company had given Hernandez the SUV in exchange for participating in promotional activities, according to court filings. The general manager of the dealership told police that they gave Hernandez the car in 2012 had not seen it since. It had not been brought in for routine service or maintenance since May 2012, the dealership owner told police.
Authorities found the SUV while investigating the slaying of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player whose body was found June 17 near Hernandez's North Attleboro, Mass., home.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in that case.
A resident of the Lake Street home told police that Hernandez had left the car at the house a year earlier and no one else drives it.
The warrant released today says police have probable cause to believe that the vehicle might contain evidence to help in the investigation into the double Boston slaying and that there might be gunshot residue in the car since it had not been touched and stayed in the garage for nearly a year.
A lawyer for Hernandez did not immediately respond to the Associated Press’ request for comment.
The evidence will be tested at the Massachusetts State Police lab, according to the warrant.