An LAPD employee who died after she was shot in Whittier on Tuesday was a veteran detective investigating the rape allegation against NBA star Derrick Rose, and her death was being handled as a suicide, police said.
Nadine Hernandez, 44, was found about 2:45 p.m. at a home in the 8400 block of Via Serra Ramal suffering from a gunshot wound.
She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced deceased, according to Lt. Jay Tatman of the Whittier Police Department.
Hernandez had a single gunshot wound to the chest that was apparently self-inflicted, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office released the deceased woman’s name on Wednesday morning.
Hernandez, a resident of Whittier, was employed by the Los Angeles Police Department, Tatman confirmed.
Officer Tony Im with the LAPD’s Media Relations Section told KTLA that Hernandez was the investigating officer on the Rose case. She worked for the elite Robbery-Homicide Division, Im said.
“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,” LAPD said in a statement. “The Rose investigation will continue unimpeded.”
There are no outstanding suspects in the death, and the case is being handled by Whittier police as a possible suicide, Im said.
Whittier police Officer Hugo Figueroa confirmed detectives are investing the case as a suicide. The coroner’s office is expected to release a cause of death within six weeks, he said.
The Times first reported that Hernandez was one of two detectives assigned to the Rose case. She worked in the Special Assault Section of the Robbery-Homicide Division, and was often involved in high-profile sex crime investigations, LAPD sources told the Times.
She died the same day a federal judge in L.A. considered Rose’s attorney’s request for a mistrial in a civil case against the New York Knicks player. Rose and two friends are accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2013.
The judge declined to declare a mistrial, the Times reported.
LAPD’s criminal investigation into the allegations against Rose became public last month when the attorney representing Rose’s accuser included a letter from Hernandez in a document filed with the court.
The attorney was requesting that the judge reconsider a decision to force the accuser to be identified during the trial. In the letter, Hernandez described the value of being able to offer anonymity to rape victims, according to the Times.
The Whittier Police Department is the lead agency on the detective’s death, and LAPD said it would defer to them.
Hernandez had been with LAPD 19 years, according to the LAPD statement.
“We are heartbroken about the tragic death of Detective Nadine Hernandez,” the statement read. “It is a loss that touches us all in the LAPD family.”
KTLA’s Stephen Acosta and Nidia Becerra contributed to this story.