Ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in cell

Hernandez was in a single cell

In this Dec. 27, 2016, file photo, former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez appears in Suffolk Superior Court for a pretrial hearing before Judge Jeffrey Locke in Boston. Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in the double murder trial of ex-NFL star Hernandez. (Josh Reynolds/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool, File)

SHIRLEY, Mass.(WWLP) – Former New England Patriots star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was found hanging in his cell at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center early Wednesday morning.

Souza Baranowski Correctional Center

In a statement sent to 22News, Christopher Fallon, Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, said Hernandez used bed sheets attached to his cell window to hang himself. He said Hernandez also tried to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.

Fallon said corrections officers found him hanging just after 3:00 in the morning and attempted to save his life. Hernandez was taken to UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.

Hernandez was in a single cell in general population housing unit. Fallon said his family has been notified.

Continuing Coverage: Aaron Hernandez News

The ex-NFL star was found not guilty on two murder charges last week. He was already serving a life sentence in the 2013 murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.

A native of Bristol, Connecticut, Hernandez played for the University of Florida in college, and was drafted by the Patriots in 2010. He played for three seasons- including the Pats’ 2011 season, in which they reached Super Bowl XLVI. He was released by the Patriots in June of 2013, immediately after being arrested for Lloyd’s murder.

Fans in New England and around the country were stunned by the news of Hernandez’s death.

“A little shocked, really shocked. It’s unbelievable, it’s a shame,” said Gene Seager of Shirley, the town in which Souza Baranowski is located.

UMass Leominister Hospital

According to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy in Boston to determine the cause of death. Hernandez attorney Jose Baez said that he wants a complete investigation, because his client did not appear suicidal.

Massachusetts State Police are at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center investigating the incident.