Text from Hartford Courant staff reports; video by John Charlton FOX CT
HARTFORD — A man who accused former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez of shooting him in the eye last February was shot again Sunday outside a Hartford bar, and faces charges after he retrieved a gun from his car and fired it at the front of the bar in retaliation.
Alexander Bradley, 31, an East Hartford native who formerly was a close friend of Hernandez, was shot three times in the leg by an unknown gunman outside Vevo Lounge in Hartford’s South End. Police arrested him and charged him with reckless endangerment and five firearms-related charges.
Hartford Police Lt. Brian Foley said the incident resulted from an argument inside the club that moved outside, and that surveillance footage from immediately after Bradley was shot shows him walking to his car, returning with a gun and shooting at the front of the building. He did not injure anyone.
A source said authorities believe the dispute inside the club was money-related, but declined further comment about the nature of the argument and how it escalated.
Police recovered a .45 caliber handgun in Bradley’s car, which they pulled over as it was fleeing the scene late Sunday. A bleeding Bradley fell out when police stopped the vehicle, Foley said. Bradley was taken by ambulance to Hartford Hospital, where he remained Monday.
He is charged with criminal possession of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm, stealing a firearm, obliterating the serial number of a firearm, and reckless endangerment in the first degree.
Boston police, who are investigating Hernandez for his role in a 2012 double homicide, were notified of the shooting. Bradley is central to that investigation: he was with the former star tight end from Bristol the night of the drive-by shooting, and authorities said in previously-released court papers that the men were in the suspect vehicle together about an hour before the incident.
Foley described Bradley, a convicted drug dealer who has a pending domestic violence case in Hartford, as “no stranger to law enforcement.”
Sunday’s shooting occurred one year after Bradley last February was shot in the face and abandoned in an alley in Florida, losing his vision in one eye and nearly losing his life. Bradley in June filed a civil lawsuit against Hernandez accusing the former Patriot of shooting him. According to the complaint, the incident stemmed from an argument over a tab at a strip club. The former Patriot was hit with the lawsuit just a week before he was charged with murder in the death of his friend Odin Lloyd.
Last summer, the Bristol County, Mass. grand jury investigating Lloyd’s death subpoenaed Bradley to testify because authorities were interested in “similarities” between the two shootings. Both men were shot late at night after leaving a club, both men allegedly were in a car with Hernandez prior to being shot, and both were found in an off-road area – Lloyd in an industrial park, and the wounded Bradley in an alley near a John Deere store.
Bradley also has appeared before the Suffolk County grand jury investigating the 2012 double homicide in Boston. Authorities have said that they believe Hernandez was operating the suspect vehicle that night and “may have been the shooter.”