Police in Massachusetts arrested New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez on Wednesday morning, wanted for questioning as part of an investigation into the murder of another football player.
And just two hours later, the New England Patriots dropped him from the team.
“Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation,” the team said in a statement announcing Hernandez’s release.
Fox 25, the Fox News affiliate station in Boston, reported that Hernandez, 23, was taken into police custody at his home in North Attleboro.
Several law enforcement officials in suits entered Hernandez's home at about 8:45 a.m., walking about two minutes later with Hernandez in handcuffs, then placed him in the back of a police cruiser.
It was not immediately known what charges Hernandez faces.
A Massachusetts judge said Tuesday it has sealed documents related to the killing of a semi-pro football player found dead a mile from Hernandez's home.
Attleboro District Court officials said documents related to the case, including search warrants, have been impounded, meaning the public can't see them. No charges have been filed so far.
State police have searched in and around Hernandez's home in North Attleboro several times. At least three search warrants have been issued in connection with the investigation.
Odin Lloyd, who played for the semi-pro Boston Bandits, was found slain June 17. The 27-year-old's relatives said he was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee and that the two men were friends.
Hernandez's attorney has said he will refrain from commenting on the substance of the investigation while it is ongoing.
Reporters have been camped out for days at Hernandez's sprawling home on the Rhode Island border, not far from the stadium where the Patriots play. They reported Tuesday that Hernandez got a visit from Boston defense attorney James Sultan.
A spokesman for Michael Fee, the attorney who has been representing Hernandez, said Tuesday that Sultan's firm, Rankin & Sultan, has been co-counsel on the case from the beginning. Among other well-known cases, Sultan helped win a new trial for a former New York banking executive accused of fatally stabbing his former girlfriend on the exclusive island of Nantucket.
The Patriots drafted Hernandez, who is originally from Bristol, Conn., out of the University of Florida in 2010. Last summer, the team gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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