State police in Massachusetts visited the home of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Wednesday in connection to a homicide case while details are now emerging about Hernandez’s potential involvement in an unrelated shooting that occurred in February near Riviera Beach.
Sports Illustrated, citing an unidentified source, reported that Hernandez, a former University of Florida star, was not believed to be a suspect in the Massachusetts case. The body of Odin Lloyd was found a mile from Hernandez’s house on Monday.
However, WBZ-TV in Boston reported Wednesday that, according to a law enforcement source, Hernandez “has not been ruled out as a suspect.”
The Massachusetts case comes less than a week after Hernandez, a former University of Florida star, was sued in South Florida federal court for allegedly shooting a man named Alexander Bradley on February 13 while driving from a strip club in Miami to Palm Beach County.
That lawsuit, obtained by The Palm Beach Post, was filed on Thursday but dismissed on Monday without prejudice, meaning it can be amended and refiled in court. The lawsuit sought in excess of $100,000 in damages.
An attorney representing Bradley told NFL.com that the complaint was withdrawn because of an error in the filing but that a new complaint was filed Wednesday. There were no records immediately available late Wednesday of a new complaint being filed.
The lawsuit alleged that Hernandez and Bradley had an argument as they drove to Palm Beach County from Tootsie’s, a strip club near Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium.
Hernandez then “caused the gun to off while aiming it” at Bradley, the lawsuit alleged.
A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office offense report filed in February and obtained by The Post on Wednesday said that Kevin Riddle, a manager of John Deere Landscapes at 3635 Fiscal Court in unincorporated Riviera Beach, heard a gunshot outside his store early in the morning on Feb. 13 and found Bradley with a gunshot wound to his head and right hand.
Bradley told one deputy that he did not know who shot him but said it was not a self-inflicted. He later told another deputy that “they were both Hispanic and black males who shot him,” according to the offense report.
The report said that Bradley lost his right eye in the shooting. Police ended the investigation after Bradley would not cooperate, according to the report.
The lawsuit also alleged that Bradley lost his eye, had multiple surgeries to reconstruct his face and will require additional surgeries. He allegedly had plates and screws inserted in the right side of his face while suffering twitches, jaw pain, TMJ and headaches. He has difficultly eating and also suffered an injury to his right hand and arm.
Bradley, 30, of Connecticut is “substantially disabled” and has damages that are “permanent in nature,” the lawsuit alleged. Bradley could not be reached for comment.
Hernandez, 23, “possessed a gun which he was not legally licensed to have,” the lawsuit alleged.
In the Massachusetts case, Sports Illustrated said police had spoken with Hernandez and visited his home Tuesday and Wednesday after Lloyd’s body was found.
Lloyd, a semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, had connections to Hernandez, Lloyd’s family said Wednesday without elaborating.
Police spent hours at Hernandez’s home Tuesday night as another group of officers searched an industrial park where the body was found.
State police referred questions to Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter’s office, which declined to comment.
Sports Illustrated reported that the link between Hernandez and the case was a rented Chevrolet Suburban with Rhode Island plates that police had been searching for.
“Neither we nor Aaron will have any comment about the substance of that investigation until it has come to a conclusion,” Hernandez attorney Michael Fee said in a statement.
Hernandez returned home during the early afternoon Wednesday. He did not speak to a crowd of media staked out about 100 feet away.
Hernandez, one of the top tight ends in the NFL, had 483 receiving yards and five touchdowns in an injury plagued season last year. He was a fourth-round draft pick out of Florida in 2010.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.