The death of a Los Angeles Police Department officer working on the investigation into NBA star Derrick Rose is believed to have been self-inflicted.
Detective Nadine Hernandez, 44, was found at a home in Whittier, California, on Oct. 11 with a single gunshot wound to the chest, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Hernandez was a 19-year veteran of the force who had previously handled high-profile cases. She was involved in the inquiries into Rose for an alleged sexual assault of a woman in 2013.
“At this time, there are no signs of foul play, and this incident is being investigated as a suicide,” Whittier police confirmed in a statement. “However, this is an ongoing investigation.”
The house where Hernandez was found around 2:45 p.m. belonged to a relative. She was taken to hospital but died from her injuries.
“Detective Hernandez was among several detectives working on the Derrick Rose case at the time of her death. At this point there is no indication that her case work had any connection to her death,” the LAPD added in a statement, reports KTLA. “The Rose investigation will continue unimpeded.”
A spokesman said a firearm was recovered from the scene, but he was unsure whether it was Hernandez’s service weapon.
On the day Hernandez died, the judge in the Rose trial was considering an application from the NBA player’s attorney to declare a mistrial. The judge ultimately decided to reject this motion.
The case against Rose was made public in September when an attorney for the woman involved appealed to the judge to conceal her identity at trial. Hernandez backed this in a letter, in which she noted that offering anonymity to those making allegations of rape was an important tool for officers.
The LAPD expressed its regret at Hernandez’s death.
“We are heartbroken about the tragic death of Detective Nadine Hernandez, a 19-year veteran of the department,” it said. “It is a loss that touches us all in the LAPD family.”
Hernandez’s official cause of death is expected to be reported by the coroner’s office within six weeks.