(FOX 11) - As he stood at a podium in front of the Whittier Police Department, Officer Hugo Figueroa said, “It’s just tragic."
"It's unfortunate to hear another fellow officer has passed away.”
LAPD Officer Nadine Hernandez was found shot in the chest Tuesday at a home in Whittier. She died at a local hospital.
Hernandez was one of several detectives investigating the gang-rape case against NBA star Derrick Rose.
Police from both Whittier and LAPD said the death had nothing to do with the case, but Hernandez was investigating it and let the judge know that the department would protect the accuser's identity throughout the course of the investigation.
To be clear, it’s not believed there is any foul play in Hernandez's death. Police said her death is being investigated as a suicide and would not say if her service weapon was used.
"We’re still waiting on the coroner’s report which should be released in 6 weeks or so and they determine the cause of death," Figueroa said.
At the Federal Courthouse in Downtown Los Angeles, both sides were reportedly surprised when the news broke Tuesday about the 44-year-old detective’s death.
As Rose arrived at court, his first bit of powerful news was that the judge in the case decided not to declare a mistrial over the plaintiff withholding three text messages he believes would clear him and his two friends, though the judge did say the defense may question the plaintiff about them.
One of those men, Randall Hampton, testified that they were partying where Rose was staying when the accuser made sexual moves on him. He talked about drinking tequila and how he, Rose and another man had sex with the plaintiff at her apartment.
All of it, he claimed, was consensual.
Meanwhile, with regard to Officer Hernandez, the LAPD said:
"We are heartbroken about the tragic death of Detective Nadine Hernandez, a 19-year veteran of the department… The Rose investigation will continue unimpeded."
The LA Police Protective League said:
“Detective Hernandez was a skilled and respected detective who faithfully served the people of Los Angeles… (she) will be missed by us all.”
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