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Brother of Late NFL Player Aaron Hernandez Arrested for Making School Shooting Threats

Dennis "D.J." Hernandez was arrested and charged last week after allegedly making numerous shooting threats involving two college campuses, and threatening a woman that he'd kill her.

By Elisabeth Ford
A mugshot of Dennis John “D.J.” Hernandez

The brother of late NFL player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was arrested last week for allegedly making shooting threats involving the campuses of both the University of Connecticut and Brown University, according to police.

Dennis “D.J.” Hernandez, 37, was arrested on July 19 and was charged with second-degree threatening and breach of peace, according to the Bristol Police Department.

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An unnamed woman who knows Hernandez told police that he threatened to fly to Florida and kill her, according to an arrest warrant obtained by NBC Connecticut. She said Hernandez is “extremely sick,” adding that his mental state was worsening.

The woman also told police that she received concerning text messages from Hernandez, with one allegedly stating, “We’re taking lives if this (expletive) isn’t paid up. It’s been year in planning just taking notes, names and locations. They talked their way into this and it’s almost point game.”

According to the arrest warrant, the woman told police that Hernandez — a former UConn quarterback and wide receiver — informed her that he visited his alma mater and Brown University, which is located in Rhode Island, to “map the schools out" and that he was planning a school shooting.

Police also talked to an ex-girlfriend of Hernandez, who said that he didn't show up for a July 7 court hearing and told her that he instead traveled to the two universities, adding that he went to “a number of classrooms and buildings at UConn,” according to the arrest warrant.

The former girlfriend added that while Hernandez was rambling about his visit to the schools, he said that he “has a bullet for everyone,” adding that he loves her but that she's “not safe" either, the warrant states. She told police that she did not directly feel threatened by the comment, but was concerned that Hernandez was in a mental health crisis.

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On July 19, Hernandez “continued to provide numerous social media posts that contained threatening and concerning language,” according to the arrest warrant, mostly about people he felt had wronged him.

“Will I kill? Absolutely, I’ve warned my enemies so pay up front,” a line in one of his post's read, according to police.

Based on the threats made over text messages, Hernandez was deemed a "danger to society," according to police, so authorities from the Bristol Police Department responded to his residence. Given Hernandez’s history with escaping police on foot, a large police presence showed up at his house, according to NBC Connecticut.

An officer talked to Hernandez on the phone to try to get him to peacefully leave the residence, but Hernandez responded that “he was on foot, armed and that if we approached him, he would kill us all,” referring to the police, according to the arrest warrant.

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Shortly after ending the call, Hernandez exited the house, “walked around the back and began advancing towards the police with his hands outstretched to his sides,” per the warrant. Hernandez then allegedly ignored police commands, yelling at the officers to shoot him.

Hernandez was eventually taken into custody after being incapacitated by a taser.

According to the arrest warrant, Hernandez was evaluated at a hospital, where he continued making numerous threats, including that he planned to kill anyone who profited off his late brother, Aaron Hernandez. Aaron, who was a tight end for the New England Patriots, was found guilty in 2015 of the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd, who was killed two years earlier. While in his prison cell, Aaron took his own life on April 19, 2017 at age 27.

D.J. Hernandez is now being held on a $250,000 bond.

The Connecticut native had been arrested prior to this recent encounter with police, according to ESPN. He was arrested in March after police say he tossed a bag, with a brick and note inside, over a fence onto ESPN’s property in Bristol, Connecticut.