GREENSBORO — The Blind Tiger reopened Thursday night, despite the suspension of its alcohol permits after a fatal shooting there last month.
On its Facebook page, the club advertised doors would open at 7 p.m. for a show featuring Eighteen Visions, End, Wristmeetrazor and End of Your Rope. “The business can open as long as no alcoholic beverages are sold, served, possessed or consumed,” said Jeff Strickland, a spokesman for the North Carolina ABC Commission.
The popular nightspot temporarily shut down after 19-year-old Pedro Alegria was shot and killed in the venue’s parking lot on July 31. Jason Leonard, who was employed by the club as a security guard, was charged with second-degree murder in Alegria’s killing, Greensboro police said.
Affidavits and witness statements attached to the suspension order indicated that Alegria was part of a group of 10 people, half of them under age 21. There was an argument between some members of Alegria’s group and another group that became physical. Both groups were kicked out — and they continued to argue outside of the club, according to a summary of events included with the suspension order.
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A few minutes later, around 2:15 a.m., a security guard “brandishing a gun” fired into the group, hitting Alegria in the neck, according to the summary. Alegria ran, leaving a trail of blood, until he collapsed in the rear parking lot that The Blind Tiger shares with other businesses.
An Alcohol Law Enforcement investigation into the venue at 1819 Spring Garden St. resulted in further charges last week.
The owner, 47-year-old Bradford McCauley of Winston-Salem, 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. Leonard and Anthony Delaney, both 28 and from Greensboro, were charged with providing unlicensed armed security and allowing violations to occur on the ABC-licensed premises.
Twice this year the business has come under the scrutiny of Greensboro’s Safety Review Board after shootings on the premises. The City Council created the board last December to evaluate violent incidents at restaurants, clubs and bars.
In April, the city shut The Blind Tiger down after two shootings occurred within days of each other. The business was able to reopen after safety and code violations were brought into compliance. The July shooting brought renewed scrutiny.
“We continue to look at ways we can engage the business … because we still feel like their operations have consistently shown to generate this type of behavior,” Assistant City Manager Trey Davis said.
The ABC Commission cited the shootings in issuing the summary suspension of the club’s alcohol permits, which is in effect until the case is heard by the Office of Administrative Hearings.
It was unclear Thursday when that hearing might take place.