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LAPD Detective On Derrick Rose Rape Case Dies After Possibly Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

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LAPD detective Nadine Hernandez, an investigator in the rape case involving NBA star Derrick Rose, was pronounced dead at a hospital on Tuesday afternoon after she was found with a gunshot wound in a Whittier home, reports the L.A. Times.

"At this time there are no signs of foul play and this incident is being investigated as a suicide," said Whittier police, according to the Times. "However, this is an ongoing investigation." Officials say Hernandez had a single gunshot wound to the chest that was possibly self-inflicted.

Whittier police had received a call at around 2:45 p.m., Tuesday afternoon, reporting a suicide attempt on the block of 8400 block of Via Sierra Ramal. Hernandez was discovered with a gunshot wound and was then transported to a hospital, where she died at around 3:30 p.m. A L.A. Coroner's spokesman told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that the death was reported as a possible suicide to the coroner's office. The autopsy is pending and the cause of death has not yet been determined.

Anonymous LAPD sources told the Times that Hernandez was one of two detectives assigned to the Rose case, and that she was often tasked with high-profile sex crime cases. Rose has been accused in a lawsuit that, along with two acquaintances, he'd broken into a Los Angeles home in August of 2013 and sexually assaulted a woman. While Rose faces the lawsuit in a civil case, the LAPD are also investigating the case separately as a criminal rape investigation.

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On September 20, a Los Angeles federal judge overseeing the lawsuit against Rose ruled that the his accuser, using "Jane Doe" as a pseudonym, must reveal her identity during the court proceedings. Doe apparently spoke with Think Progress back in September about the matter, saying that she'd wanted to keep her identity anonymous to protect her family:

It's very important for me because of my family. I want to keep this away from my mother and father mainly, and possibly the rest of my family members. I come from a big family and although my parents are only Spanish speaking, anything can spark the interest of my nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters. It could come back to my mom, who right now is very ill and dealing with a lot of health issues. I wouldn't want any stress on her, and I wouldn't want anything affecting her or affecting my father.

Hernandez had issued a letter to the plaintiff's lawyer, saying that she supports the woman's decision to remain anonymous. "The ability to offer anonymity to victims of sex crimes is an invaluable aid to investigators as well as a great comfort to victims of crimes of such a sensitive nature," wrote Hernandez.

The 30-year-old woman claims that Rose and two friends had possibly drugged her while she was drinking at Rose's house earlier in the day. She says that, when she was back at her own apartment, the men broke in and assaulted her while she was incapacitated. She said that she can only recall "flashes" of the incident. "I recall waking up and seeing them in my room," she said in court. The woman is seeking $21 million in damages.

Rose, testifying in court on Friday, said that the woman had sent him suggestive texts, and that he'd taken it as a sign of consent, reports ESPN. "I was assuming that all of us going over there that she wanted to have sex with all of us," Rose said in court.

At the end of Friday's testimony, Rose's lawyer had requested the judge to declare a mistrial because the woman's lawyers had failed to present to court earlier a series texts sent by the woman, reports the Times. Rose's lawyer said that the text "could be viewed as favorable to the defense." The judge, while admonishing the woman's lawyers for not presenting the texts earlier, refused to declare a mistrial.

LAist has left messages for both the LAPD and the Whittier Police Department. We will update with more information when it arrives.

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