Aaron Hernandez, who is currently in jail awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges for the shooting death of Odin Lloyd, has been indicted in the July 2012 double-murder drive-by shooting of two other men. Fox 25's Ted Daniel was the first to report the news.
At a midday press conference Thursday, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley stressed that the victims, Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, did not have gang ties, as previously reported, and described their meeting with Hernandez at a Boston night club as a "chance encounter."
“Mr. Abreu and Mr. Furtado were ambushed and executed as they drove home,” Conley said. “Aaron Hernandez is the principal, the shooter, and the person responsible for taking the lives of the two victims.”
Conley explained that as Abreu and Furtado left the club around 2 a.m., they were followed by Hernandez, who was in an SUV. As Abreau and Furtado stopped a red light, the SUV that carried Hernandez pulled up on the right and Hernandez opened fire with a .38 caliber revolver. Abreu, who as driving, was shot multiple times, including a fatal shot to the chest. Furtado, in the front passenger seat, was also shot multiple times, including a fatal shot to the head. Three of the five passengers in the car were shot.
"For us, the case was never about Aaron Hernandez," Conley said Thursday, "but about two victims who were stalked, ambushed and murdered."
Conley said that more information would be revealed at Hernandez's arraignment, which is scheduled for next week.
It has been previously reported that the weapon used in the shooting was found last August. And two months after that, a man who survived the drive-by shooting identified Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end, as the man who pulled the trigger.
According to relatives of the two men killed in the shooting (and later corroborated by the District Attorney), neither knew Hernandez. Both worked for a cleaning company and didn't have criminal records. The shooting took place at a red light, shortly after the men had left the Cure Lounge in Boston's Theater District.
"They just came up and started firing for no reason at all," the alleged eyewitness told Fox 25 last fall. "We never had any trouble. We were not those kind of people. We were just having fun. … Things happened so fast. I was trying to defend myself. They were shooting everywhere inside the car, front to back. They just came to kill. That's it."
The witness said he recognized Hernandez's face after the former football star was arrested last summer in connection with Lloyd's death. "I just want to know, what's the reason? What's the point? Why us?" he wondered.
If Hernandez is found guilty, that would mean he played an entire NFL season after killing two men.
Originally a fourth-round pick in 2010, the Patriots signed Hernandez to a five-year extension in August 2012.
NEW HERNANDEZ INDICTMENT: Victims were best friends buried side by side in Mattapan pic.twitter.com/KjGysECjPt— Ted Daniel (@TedDanielFOX25) May 15, 2014