Bradford McCauley’s full 11-minute statement on the deadly shooting is included in full above. Below you can find a video featuring just the surveillance video released in McCauley’s statement.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Newly-released surveillance camera footage is shedding new light on the night that a teenager was shot and killed outside of The Blind Tiger in Greensboro.
Bradford McCauley, 47, of Winston-Salem, has been fighting to restore the reputation of his former music venue and bar, The Blind Tiger, ever since a contracted guard allegedly shot and killed 19-year-old Pedro Alegria in the parking lot that the venue shared with other businesses on that corridor.
McCauley was charged with failing to superintend and hiring unlicensed armed security. Manager Donald Beck Jr., 55, of Greensboro, was charged with allowing violations to occur on the ABC-licensed premises and hiring unlicensed armed security. Security contractor Jason Leonard, 28, — who was earlier charged with second-degree murder in connection to the shooting — and Anthony Delaney, 28, both of Greensboro, were charged with providing unlicensed armed security and allowing violations to occur on the ABC-licensed premises.
After struggling to remain open without ABC permits, The Blind Tiger closed in October and was replaced by a new music venue, Hangar 1819.
Closure and rebuking criticism
In a text post accompanying the video, McCauley offered his thanks to those who have supported the business and acknowledged the space’s new ownership before taking aim at some of The Blind Tiger’s former neighbors.
“With heavy hearts, we have decided to close our doors and sell to Hangar 1819,” he said. “This decision did not come easy as we have tried to maintain our business through this tough time. With all the negative press and lack of support from the city of Greensboro, we felt we were left with no other choices.”
McCauley added that he took issue with comments made by Jason Austin of Fidelity Realty in an article published on Oct. 24.
In the article, Austin said in part, “The bands they bring in are not the problem. It’s the after-hours parties that go on that start at 11, 12 o’clock and go until two, three, four in the morning. I have some properties on Spring Garden Street that nobody wants to rent because of its location and proximity to The Blind Tiger.”
McCauley responded, writing, “Just last week Jason Austin of Fidelity Realty Co, our neighbor across the street, made remarks to FOX8 about the Business we conduct. What surprised us was the fact they are located above and own the building that PETRA HOOKA is located in. PETRA stays open until 4 am every FRIDAY and SAUTURDAY (sic) and has had multiple shootings and a murder in their parking lot over the last three years. Jason’s support of Petra is a major contributing factor in the decline of this amazing community.”
McCauley also responded to alleged “false claims about the 911 calls that we have received.”
“Just in the last week, multiple patrons left Apotheca, another neighbor of ours, and started arguing,” he said. “As a result, the Owner of Buffalo Boogie records called 911 and reported the incident at The Blind Tiger. We realize that The Blind Tiger is a landmark, and many calls that were made to the address did NOT involve the business. WE do hope that the new owners do not have to suffer this.”
In the video, McCauley says he pulled the 911 call logs for the last three years and found that there were 144 calls.
“What we found after dissecting those calls is less than 6% are true calls. And if we take away the April and the July 31 incidences, there’s very few calls at all,” he said.
On April 13, McCauley says The Blind Tiger was hosting an open mic when people started running from the upper parking lot. They were saying that there was a shooting at the upper parking lot.
“What we’ve come to realize since that period of time is that there was two rival gangs—one sitting on Oakland Avenue and one on Chapman Court—near our upper parking lot and had a shooting,” he said.
On April 17, The Blind Tiger was hosting a biannual fundraiser that the venue hosts with a local fraternity or sorority.
McCauley says, from 2 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., “we play music. No alcohol is served. Only water and Red Bull is offered.”
That night, at about 5:15 a.m., two people were shot. McCauley says it happened “in front of our neighbor Apotheca, which shares our parking lot.”
“We later realized that this was another random act of violence here in Greensboro that had nothing to do with The Blind Tiger,” McCauley said. “We were later visited by the Greensboro Police Department and Alcohol Law Enforcement. They found no infractions and cited us on nothing, said that we did everything within our power to keep our customers safe and had no violation of alcohol laws in North Carolina.”
The city council temporarily shut down the bar while the safety review board looked into potential violations, and the venue was allowed to reopen on April 26 after getting up to code.
“The safety review board did see that I had some unpermitted work that was contracted out to do or our contractor did not follow the right permits, and we were shut down briefly,” he said. “Within four days, we were back open. Again, with no suspensions of our alcohol license.”
The deadly shooting on July 31
McCauley was not at The Blind Tiger when Pedro Alegria was shot in the parking lot outside of The Blind Tiger but says he did review the security camera footage from the business’s 38 cameras.
Alegria and about half of his group were under the age of 21 when they came to The Blind Tiger, McCauley said.
After reports that Blind Tiger staff did not ask for identification, McCauley said only people who claim to be 21 or over are asked to provide identification. If a patron self-identifies as being underage, they are not asked further questions and are not permitted to drink.
Drinking at the table
Alegria and his group sat at a VIP table, which included a bottle of alcohol reportedly sealed with a mechanism that would only allow the venue’s professional servers to pour.
“Just like any restaurant or venue that is all ages in North Carolina, you may have under and over 21 in that group, and the over 21 can consume alcohol around an under-21 patron. We do everything in our power to assume that the over 21 does not serve the under 21 in their group.”
He says security and waitstaff were monitoring the tables and did not observe any underage patrons drinking.
“As the night progressed, our waitstaff came to their area and realized that there was a mechanism that we placed on bottles that was broken,” he said. “At that point, we shut down that VIP section and removed all alcohol from that area.”
During the event, a fight broke out involving Alegria’s group.
According to affidavits, a witness told police that a man in a separate group sitting nearby said a racial slur in Spanish, referencing some of the people in Alegria’s group. An argument erupted, and two of Alegria’s friends and a person at another table began hitting each other. Security guards then kicked them out, but the fight continued in the parking lot.
In the video, McCauley says security staff ushered their group outside to keep the customers inside safe.
“Once outside, our staff goes outside to address it,” McCauley said. “Unfortunately at that point, a contracted security that we have, Jason Leonard, brandished a firearm, one that he was never allowed to have in the building, he was never hired to hold and had it on his possession without our knowledge.”
The alleged murder weapon
An ALE agent said, at about 2:18 a.m., a second security guard put a gun under papers in the top left drawer of the office desk, according to an affidavit. Beck, the manager, allegedly put his gun under the desk.
“There’s an accusation that Donald Beck, the general manager of The Blind Tiger, hid the murder weapon,” McCauley said. “Well, what I want to address after reviewing the cameras and speaking with everyone is that’s the farthest from the truth.”
McCauley says security guard Anthony Delaney went to his car during the fight and got a gun, “fully aware that he is not allowed to have a firearm in the building of The Blind Tiger or carry a firearm while he’s working at The Blind Tiger and brought it into the building.”
“Donald Beck, the general manager, became aware of this and had him follow him into the office where he reprimanded him and asked him to place it in a drawer that he’d later talk about it,” McCauley said.
The surveillance video shared by McCauley appears to show Beck walking to the desk and sitting in a chair. Another man, identified by McCauley as Delaney, walks into the frame. They open the top drawer of the desk and appear to place an object inside. Delaney then walks out of the frame.
Going by the timestamp on the video, that was at 2:18 a.m. Sunday.
Less than 30 seconds after the previous clip ends, at 2:19 a.m., another clip of the office shows that Beck is gone as Delaney allegedly walks up to the desk and appears to place another object in the drawer before closing it.
“As you can see from the video, about four minutes later, Ant Delaney came back to the office without Donald Beck and without him being aware and placed another firearm in a drawer,” McCauley said.
McCauley says that after he arrived, he reviewed the cameras with police and Beck.
“After speaking with, he made me aware of what happened with Anthony Delaney,” McCauley said. “At that point, I became concerned because Anthony and Jason are friends and they also work together at the front door.”
He said he called in an officer and told him about the gun “and how I was concerned that it may have been involved in the altercation earlier that evening. At about two hours later, Greensboro homicide detectives come back to The Blind Tiger and make us aware there’s another gun that was hidden in the office by Anthony Delaney, which was Jason Leonard’s murder weapon,” McCauley said.
Washing away the blood
In an affidavit, officers said they spotted blood along a short, white brick wall outside the building. An agent, citing surveillance video, said that, at about 2:22 a.m., a man began to clean blood off the brick wall by pouring a bottle of water on it and scrubbing it with his shoes. A woman then uses a bucket of water to wash away the blood.
“The promoter from that evening had a couple patrons that were in there, and they put water, they took a couple bottles of water … and washed the blood off the stone retention wall and around the door so as customers left, they did not have to walk through any blood,” McCauley said.
McCauley emphasized that these people were not employed by The Blind Tiger and these actions were not approved by Blind Tiger staff.
“They did this because they felt it would be disrespectful for customers inside to have to walk through that,” he said.
‘Why I made this video’
McCauley says he made the video after The Blind Tiger faced criticism from the mayor and law enforcement.
“I want everybody to be aware why I made this video,” he said. “We’ve had people like the mayor of Greensboro, Nancy Vaughan, making statements that we’re a nuisance. We’ve had Alcohol Law Enforcement Officer Watson and Fisher make affidavit statements that we’re a burden on Greensboro. We’ve had canned statements made by the Greensboro Police Department, those attached to the summary suspension, that this is not an isolated incidence.”
He says the 911 call logs “show just the opposite of that.”
“This was truly an isolated incident where a contracted security guard wasn’t thinking, and he brought a gun into his job with no knowledge of Donald Beck, the general manager, someone that’s been in the Greensboro community for over 34 years, that owned The Blind Tiger for over 26 of those years and has been the current general of The Blind Tiger for the last six, a proven operator,” McCauley said.
He says he did not release this statement until now because “I thought the truth would come out.”
“I hope that these videos that I’ve showed you from the night, my testimony from the night and our past shows you what the truth is,” McCauley said.