Advertisement

Autopsy report for 17-year-old girl killed by police inconsistent with officer claims

A family attorney said the autopsy report undermines "the version of the events put forth by the Denver Police Department" since the shots hit 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez from the driver's side of the car, not from the front.

By Fred Lambert
Autopsy report for 17-year-old girl killed by police inconsistent with officer claims
A Denver police sign. After officers from the city's department shot a 17-year-old girl to death in late January 2015, an autopsy report in late February ruled the killing as a homicide. Photo by Jeffrey Beall/CC/Flickr

DENVER, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- One month after Denver police said a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed while trying to run a stolen vehicle over two officers, a medical examiner's report released Friday showed that every bullet struck her from the side.

Jessica Hernandez was killed on Jan. 26. The Denver Police Department said at the time that she had driven a stolen car at two officers in a dark alleyway, hitting one officer's leg and prompting them to shoot several times.

Advertisement

The autopsy report indicates Hernandez died after suffering four gunshot wounds, with two bullets fatally entering the left side of her torso, hitting her heart and lungs, and another two wounds, possibly from the same bullet, in her pelvis and thigh. Denver Chief Medical Examiner James Caruso, who performed the autopsy, notes there was "no evidence of close range discharge of a firearm associated with any of the entrance wounds."

The report also indicates Hernandez had traces of marijuana in her system and a blood-alcohol content of 0.047, just over half the legal limit for an adult. Witnesses at the time said there were a total of five teens in the car, which police say was stolen.

Advertisement

The Hernandez family's attorney, Qusair Mohamedbhai, said the report undermines "the version of the events put forth by the Denver Police Department" since the shots hit Hernandez from the driver's side of the car, not from the front, and they were not fired at close range.

Hernandez's death sparked protests in Denver, and the involved officers -- Daniel Greene, a 16-year Denver Police Department veteran, and Gabriel Jordan, a 9-year veteran -- were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the district attorney's office.

Denver police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez declined comment to NBC regarding Mohamedbhai's accusation until after the DA's investigation.

Meanwhile, Denver District Attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough told the Denver Post that the autopsy report will be a part of the investigation, which had an unclear time frame.

"We will work as quickly as we can, but we'll have to make sure we have all of the information and all of the facts in the investigative case file before we begin the legal review," she said.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement