On Wednesday, authorities revealed that a detective from the Los Angeles Police Department who had been investigating the gang-rape allegations against former NBA Bulls star Derrick Rose and his friends was found dead at home the day before. The detective reportedly committed suicide and died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The statement issued by the LAPD said that 44-year-old Detective Nadine Hernandez was found suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest. The Whittier Police Department said they responded to the home after receiving a 2:45 p.m. call on Tuesday afternoon that reported an attempted suicide. The home the detective was found in suffering from the fatal gunshot wound is located in Whittier in the 8400 block of Via Sierra Ramal and reportedly belonged to a relative of hers. The LA Times reported that a firearm was recovered from the scene of the apparent suicide but it is not clear if the gun was the detective’s service weapon.
The detective was transported to a local facility, PIH Health Hospital, and the coroner’s office said that she was later pronounced dead there at 3:27 p.m. Lt. Steve Dean spoke to the media, and the police released a statement regarding the circumstances surrounding the death.
“At this time, there are no signs of foul play, and this incident is being investigated as a suicide. However, this is an ongoing investigation.”
The LAPD also released a statement that Hernandez was only one of several detectives assigned to the Derrick Rose case. They also pointed out that there was nothing to indicate that the case of the gang rape accusations had any connection to the death of Detective Nadine Hernandez. “The Rose investigation will continue unimpeded.”
The fact that the LAPD had an open investigation against Derrick Rose came to light last month when, according to the Chicago Sun Times, it was revealed that Detective Hernandez had written a letter to the attorney of the woman accusing Rose of being involved in a gang rape. The attorney, Brandan Anand used the letter about the LAPD criminal investigation into the NBA star to plead with U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald to allow the woman, who accused Rose and two of his friends of committing the gang rape, to remain anonymous during the trial.
The existence of that letter which Detective Hernandez wrote to assist the case against Derrick Rose was widely reported in the national media. This is a high profile case and Detective Nadine Hernandez had argued in the letter that the ability to offer a safe space and anonymity to the people who file a rape report. The simple act of reporting a rape case is deemed “an invaluable investigative aid to investigators.” The detective also added that as it carried out its own investigation, the LAPD would continue to guard the identity of the woman.
The possibility exists now though that the detective’s suicide could impact the case against the NBA player. One of Rose’s lawyer is now claiming that the detective had told him that there no rape case against the man and there were text messages from the victim, Jane Doe, which the prosecutors were withholding from the defense which proved it. Anand disputes these claims and states that the detective believed in the case.
The public is not yet aware of exactly how long the police have been investigating Rose as Hernandez and the other officers have declined to divulge that information. Derrick Rose says that he had not been aware of the LAPD criminal charges investigation into him and even information officer Norma Eismann id not seem to be privy to speak about the case too much. Hernandez had been on the force for over a decade and is frequently involved in high-profile sex crime cases.
Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen are the two friends of the NBA player that the woman is accusing. The $21.5 million lawsuit alleges that Rose and his friends had sex with the woman without her consent and while she was “out of it” and under the influence. The three members of the government branch have said that the assault occurred while the woman had been drinking and doing drugs.
Rose and the other men maintain that the sex was consensual. A motion for mistrial that the basketball player’s lawyer brought to the judge was denied.
[Featured Image by Damian Dovarganes/AP Images]