MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities say one person was shot to death and another was wounded after a fight broke out at a Minneapolis bar early Thursday morning.
Police responded to Champions Bar on the 100 block of Lake Street at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday on a report of a shooting. Witnesses at the bar said it was full due to being ladies night and karaoke at the bar. Some sort of altercation happened, resulting in gunshots being fired inside the bar.
Police said a 51-year-old man suffered at least one life-threatening gunshot wound and was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died Thursday morning. A second victim was hospitalized with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
The bar released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying a city-wide ban prohibiting off-duty officers from working security at the bar “contributed to the tragic shooting.” The bar is asking that the ban on officers working security be lifted.
The statement pointed a finger at Matthew Clark, who formerly commanded the 5th Precinct. He is now the assistant chief of the Minneapolis Police Department.
The City Attorney, Susan Segal, responded to Champions’ accusation in a statement saying:
“It’s outrageous for Champions to suggest that someone else is to blame for their own lack of safety measures. The Minneapolis Police Department does not allow off-duty police officers to work inside any bars and that has been MPD’s policy for decades. It’s a business’ responsibility to establish and follow meaningful safety measures. The vast majority of businesses in the City are run responsibly, with good security plans and personnel.”
The statement continued to say that “Champions has a lengthy record of public safety problems over many years, including a series of undercover arrests for drug dealing inside the business. That’s why the City has been moving forward with the legal process to revoke the business’ license. In fact, the City has attempted to get Champions to establish stronger safety measures, and one of our recommendations is that the bar hire more off-duty officers to work outside the bar. Champions has not agreed to take the necessary steps to increase safety, so we’ve been forced to proceed with the process to revoke its business license.”
Police said there are no suspects in custody at this time, and anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Minneapolis Police at (612) 692-8477.