Aaron Hernandez’s Role in Gainesville Shooting Probed by Police

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Ever since the Aaron Hernandez story broke, Outkick has been arguing that there’s no way Odin Lloyd was Hernandez’s first shooting victim.

It just didn’t make sense. 

No one goes from smoking pot to an execution style murder a half-mile from his home.

No, our theory was that Hernandez was comfortable shooting people and that he’d gotten cocky because of getting away with prior shootings. Within a few hours of that column being published news broke that Boston police were looking into Hernandez for an unsolved double murder in 2012. 

Now comes detailed news about a 2007 shooting in Gainesville. ESPN has discovered that the only man not shot in the car that night described the shooter as a man who looks just like Aaron Hernandez.

“Cason, then 20, told police that shooter was a “Hawaiian” or “Hispanic” male who had a large muscular build, stood about 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4, weighed about 230 or 240 pounds and had a lot of tattoos…

As they were waiting for the light to change, the Hawaiian football player and Reggie Nelson walked up to their car on the right side,” according to the police report, which cited what Cason told detectives. “Then without saying a work [sic], the Hawaiian pointed a small handgun in the front right window and fired five quick shots. Cason saw Smith slump over with blood coming out of the back of the head, at which time the Hawaiian and Nelson took off running towards McDonald’s.” 

Police attempted to speak with Aaron Hernandez about the shooting, but waited nine days and when they approached Hernandez he invoked his right to counsel. Pretty savvy response for a 17 year old. 

Especially since that same day the lone witness to the shooting from inside the car changed his story, refusing to identify the shooters any longer.

Poof, yet another felony disappeared. 

This 2007 shooting in Gainesville sounds awfully similar to the alleged shootings in Miami and Boston, doesn’t it?

After a night out partying with friends Hernandez is alleged to have waited until clubs closed and then settled the score with gunfire. 

And if the shooting witness’s changing story sounds suspiciously like the way a felony assault charge disappeared in a bar fight allegation that also occurrred in 2007, well, that’s no coincidence. 

USA Today reported that after a Gainesville bar fight when Hernandez admitted striking a bouncer in the ear and busting his eardrum, the victim mysteriously changed his mind about pressing charges:

That’s despite the fact that Gainesville police had recommended felony assault charges. 

“Curiously, police said Taphorn was adamant about pressing charges when he first spoke to officers, but when police followed up with Taphorn, he told them “that he may request the charges be dropped,” an investigator wrote in the supplemental report. He added: “Taphorn did state that he had been contacted by legal staff and coaches with UF and that they may be working on an agreement. However, nothing is finalized.”

“I advised him that if this was his final decision that he would have to contact the State Attorney’s office,” the investigator wrote.”

Athough police recommended a felony assault charge against Hernandez, a juvenile at the time, no charge was lodged.”

So in his freshman year at Florida Aaron Hernandez may have gotten away with a felony assault and attempted murder.

Why did Aaron Hernandez think he was above the law?

Because, quite simply, at Florida he was.

Anyone still want to argue that Urban Meyer didn’t enable Hernandez’s behavior by failing to punish him at all for either of these incidents?

In fact, based on the evidence here you can even argue that Meyer and the Gators helped cover up these crimes. 

Which makes Urban Meyer’s decision not to answer any questions about Hernandez even more interesting. Meyer doesn’t want to give a comment on Hernandez until he knows exactly what we know about Hernandez’s time at Florida.

Put simply, Urban’s afraid of telling a lie and getting caught in it.

If only Urban Meyer had been as diligent about disciplining his players at Florida as he has been about turning in his former school for insignificant NCAA violations.  

Then maybe Aaron Hernandez’s crime spree would have ended an awful lot sooner. 

Why did I call Urban Meyer the fakest major coach in college athletics?


Because he is. 

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.