Aaron Hernandez, who was charged with murder Wednesday, is also being investigated as the possible gunman in a double homicide in Boston in 2012, according to a law enforcement official. A second law enforcement official confirmed that Hernandez, a former tight end with the New England Patriots, has been connected to the homicides, which occurred after a fight in a Boston nightclub.
The twin killing at a city intersection early one morning last July has remained unsolved. Police knew that Hernandez had been in the nightclub called Cure that night but considered his presence of no significance.
“They knew he was in there,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing, said of the club. “But it was thought that he was just a sports star at the bar.”
When Hernandez was linked last week to the killing of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston semiprofessional football player, Boston police decided to take another look at his possible role in last year’s killings.
Further investigation led police to tie Hernandez to that killing, said the official, who declined to discuss any evidence in the case. The official said Hernandez is believed to have fired the shots that killed the two men, Daniel Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28.
The fight inside the club took place between Abreu and Furtado and a group of men that police have now been told included Hernandez.
Abreu and Furtado left the club with three other men in a BMW sedan. Abreu, who was driving, came to a stop at a traffic light when an SUV with Rhode Island license plates pulled alongside. The BMW was than sprayed with gunfire, which killed Abreu and Furtado. The three other men in the car survived. No suspects were identified, but Boston police never closed the investigation.
On Thursday, Hernandez, 23, was denied bail in Attleboro (Mass.) District Court in connection with the June 17 murder of Lloyd, whose body was found in a secluded section of an industrial park that is less than a mile from Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough. He faces a life sentence without parole if convicted.
One official said investigators were exploring a possible connection between the two cases that could explain a possible motive for the Lloyd killing. The person said investigators were examining the possibility that Lloyd was killed because he had information about Hernandez’s involvement in the 2012 double homicide, but cautioned that was somewhat speculative at this point.
Late Wednesday night in Connecticut, a second man was arrested in connection with the Lloyd murder.
Carlos Ortiz, 27, from Bristol, Conn., Hernandez’s hometown, was arrested Wednesday and charged with carrying a firearm without a license. In court papers unsealed Thursday, police said Ortiz admitted he was armed while in North Attleborough on the day Lloyd was murdered.