Push to shut down Nitty Gritty Cafe after deadly shooting

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem officials met with residents Friday evening concerned about a deadly weekend shooting at the Nitty Gritty Soul Cafe.

Councilman James Taylor Jr. organized the meeting with residents and police after numerous complaints of crime and police calls to the restaurant.

“Shut them down! Shut them [explicative] down,” said Mekaann Evans, a cousin of victim 23, Carmen Simmons. “She is laying up in ICU right now fighting for her life! She’s got a bullet three inches away from her heart! Do ya’ll understand it could be your family?”

Simmons remains in critical condition. Two other victims, Barry Bevionta Richardson, 20, is in serious condition and Cortez Lenard Smith, 20, is in stable condition. Kenneth Ravon Braddy Jr., 24, of Winston-Salem, died in the shooting, which was reported around 1:45 a.m. Saturday at the restaurant/night club at 3003 South Main Street.

“There is no drug activity going on,” Nitty Gritty’s manager, Timothy Best, told the crowd as several from the audience shouted “liar.”

Best says he has no control over people getting arrested on his property and what happened last weekend could have happened anywhere.

“That guy was wrong. We did not have anything to do with that. That can happen anywhere.”

City leaders say they will decide by next Friday on whether to pull the restaurants alcohol license or shut the restaurant down.

 

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