NATIONAL NEWS

Aaron Hernandez brother faces new charges amid concerns over threats, visits to UConn, Brown

Jul 25, 2023, 10:30 AM

FILE - Dennis Hernandez, brother of former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez...

FILE - Dennis Hernandez, brother of former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez, watches during his brother's murder trial on Jan. 29, 2015, in Fall River, Mass. Former UConn football player Dennis Hernandez is behind bars after a witness told police she believed he was planning a school shooting. The 37-year-old, who went by DJ while playing for the Huskies as a quarterback and receiver in the mid-2000s, is due in court on Aug. 1 on charges including threatening. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool, File)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The older brother of late New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is behind bars after a woman close to him told police she was worried he was planning a school shooting.

Dennis Hernandez, a former football player at UConn, was shocked with a stun gun and arrested by police July 18 after he threatened to kill officers who had gone to his home in Bristol, Connecticut, then emerged from the house yelling “shoot me, shoot me,” according to police.

On the way to the hospital, Hernandez, who went by DJ while playing quarterback and wide receiver for the Huskies in the mid-2000s, said he planned to kill anyone who had profited off his younger brother, police said in an arrest report.

Bristol police officers went to Hernandez’s home after speaking with two women about what they described as his deteriorating mental health.

Hernandez, 37, was originally arrested in March after police say he threw a bag containing a brick and a note over a fence and onto ESPN’s property in Bristol before leaving.

Hernandez did not appear in court as scheduled on July 7. One of the women told police that Hernandez told her he had driven instead on that day to UConn’s campus in Storrs and Brown University’s campus in Providence to “map the schools out.” The woman, whose name is redacted from the police report, told police she surmised Hernandez was planning a school shooting.

UConn police confirmed that a vehicle linked to Hernandez was on campus that day.

The other woman told police that in rambling about that incident to her, Hernandez said he “has a bullet for everyone,” according to the arrest report.

Hernandez also posted threats on social media toward one of those women and other people, police said. One of those read in part, “Will I kill? Absolutely.” In a text message to one of the women on July 7, Hernandez wrote about being angry at UConn coaches and university officials, and warned he was “taking down everything.”

He said he has been dying for years, “and now it’s others peoples turn.”

“Not all shootings are bad I’m realizing,” he wrote.

A phone message seeking comment was left at the public defender’s office, which is representing Hernandez in the case. Hernandez grew up in Bristol and recently had lived in Florida.

UConn said in a statement that it determined at the time that there was “no known imminent threat” to the school and that Hernandez was taken into custody shortly after UConn learned of the indcident. Brown, where Hernandez served as quarterbacks coach during the 2010-11 season, said in a statement that it’s investigation indicated Hernandez had not returned to campus in recent weeks.

Dennis Hernandez is due back in court on Aug. 1 on charges including threatening, breach of peace and failure to appear in court. He is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Aaron Hernandez killed himself in 2017 while serving a murder sentence.

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