Massachusetts prison officials say former NFL star Aaron Hernandez has hanged himself in his cell and pronounced dead at a hospital. He was 27.

An official with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections says Hernandez was found hanged in his cell just after 3 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities tried to revive the former New England Patriots tight end, and he was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial - HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster at 4:07 a.m.

Prison officials say the Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts They say he hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window.

Authorities say Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.

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Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, was acquitted Friday in a 2012 double slaying prosecutors said was fueled by his anger over a drink spilled at a nightclub.

A Massachusetts prisons spokesman said he wasn't not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez but stressed the investigation is ongoing.

Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications Christopher Fallon also said officials had no concern that Hernandez was planning on taking his own life.

The 27-year-old was housed in the general population unit of the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. Fallon said Hernandez would have been transferred to a mental health unit if there was any concern about his well-being.

-AP