Aaron Hernandez’s Role in Gainesville Shooting Probed by Police

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

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.