A man who survived a deadly 2012 drive-by shooting in Boston identified former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez on Tuesday as the person who pulled the trigger.
Prosecutors asked Raychides Sanches during a pretrial hearing to describe the chaotic scene the night of July 16, 2012.
Sanches said he had been a passenger in a car stopped at a light in the city's South End when an SUV pulled up. He said someone from the SUV spoke out before gunshots began.
“He pull up, he said 'what’s up Negro,' he pulled out the gun, he started shooting,” Sanches testified.
Sanches said the gunfire struck 29-year-old Daniel de Abreu and 28-year-old Safiro Furtado.
“I get out, I try to check my friend, if he’s OK, I saw my friends die quickly, right away,” Sanches said.
When asked who the shooter was, Sanches nodded in the direction of Hernandez in Suffolk Superior Court. "Looked like him," he said. "Hernandez."
Another survivor of the shooting, Aquilino Freire, told the court he was shot twice and described the shooter as light skinned, with no beard but tattoos.
Hernandez faces two counts of murder in the deaths of Furtado and de Abreu.
Prosecutors say he gunned down the two men after one of them bumped into him at a Boston nightclub earlier that night. The former tight end has pleaded not guilty.
Hernandez already is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 shooting death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.
Tuesday's hearing focused on a number of pre-trial issues as Hernandez prepares to stand trial Feb. 13.
Prosecutors are asking the judge to allow Sanches and another survivor of the shooting to give a general description of the shooter at the trial.
Defense attorneys for Hernandez, in this pretrial hearing, argued the two men should not be allowed to testify at the upcoming trial because their memories have been clouded by all of the news coverage.
“I don’t see how there’s anything you can glean from these witnesses at all,” said defense attorney Jose Baez.
Hernandez's lawyers on Tuesday requested the trial be delayed, but the presiding judge denied it. Jury selection is scheduled to begin February 13.