More than a month after her fatal shooting at the hands of Colorado police, an autopsy has revealed that 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez was shot four times, two of which were fatal.
The teenager’s death was also ruled a homicide, according to a medical examiner’s report released Friday. The examination, performed by Denver Chief Medical Examiner James Caruso, shows that two gunshot wounds were located in Hernandez’s pelvis and right thigh, possibly from the same bullet. Hernandez was also shot two times in the left side of her torso — the bullets pierced the heart and both lungs, killing her.
“There was no evidence of close range discharge of a firearm associated with any of the entrance wounds,” Caruso said in the report.
Hernandez’s Jan. 26 death, which is under investigation by the Denver District Attorney’s Office, sparked weeks of protest. Police say Officers Gabriel Jordan and Daniel Greene opened fire when Hernandez drove a stolen car towards one of them. But the family’s lawyer, Qusair Mohamedbhai, said the autopsy disputes officers’ claims, NBC reports.
Mohamedbhai said in a statement that the autopsy doesn’t indicate that Hernandez was driving toward the officers who shot her since since the bullet wounds entered her body from the driver’s side of the car and were not fired at close range. He told NBC News on Saturday that the left-to-right wound path and trajectory of the bullets that struck Hernandez “undermine the version of the events put forth by the Denver Police Department.”
Denver police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez said it would be “inappropriate” for the department to respond to comments from the Hernandez family lawyers until the district attorney’s investigation is complete.
The Hernandez family has said they have “no confidence” that the district attorney will conduct a fair investigation. Through Mohamedbhai, they are calling for an independent federal investigation into the teen’s death.