MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Nine people, including a Minnesota Vikings player, are recovering after a shooting at a Minneapolis nightclub early Saturday morning.
That business is now shut down indefinitely, according to its owners. Police said the incident started just before 2 a.m. Saturday, when a suspect started shooting into the crowd at the 400 Soundbar.
Nine people were hurt in the incident, including Linval Joseph, a defensive lineman for the Vikings. Police said they have not made any arrests.
Joseph was hit in the calf. He was treated and released at the hospital and is expected back on the field this week. Sources told WCCO-TV that he had just arrived to the bar and was an innocent bystander, like the majority of Saturday’s shooting victims.
Minneapolis police said this was not a random shooting. It was likely gang-related, and the shooter was just targeting one person. But it isn’t the first time police have been called to the nightclub.
City leaders said they’ve had to deal with safety issues at 400 Soundbar for the last two years. The bar was operating with a conditional license under an agreement to add more security.
“Very specific, taken very specific actions through the licensing process to ensure the public’s safety within the businesses,” said Assistant Chief Matt Clark. “Clearly with this incident at Soundbar it didn’t happen even though we’ve been working on that.”
“Shootings downtown, they’re not the rule they’re the exception,” said Jacob Frey with the Minneapolis City Council. “By and large, this has been a safe and thriving atmosphere but there are instances and any instance is too many.”
While the city had a role in shutting down this bar temporarily, the owner also agreed to the closure. Saturday the owner released a statement saying the shooting left them baffled and surprised. It went on to say, “We need to step back and evaluate what it’s all about.”
Joseph released a statement on the matter Sunday morning.
“I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and concerns over the past 24 hours. I am extremely thankful that this was a minor injury for me. As the team has communicated, this was an unfortunate situation where I, along with several others, was an innocent bystander to a senseless act. My thoughts are with all of the victims at this time. I am looking forward to getting back onto the field with my teammates in the near future.”
Joseph took part in meetings Sunday morning, but he probably will be held out of practice for the next week or two.
General manager Rick Spielman says an examination by the team’s medical staff of the wound around Joseph’s calf revealed no cause for concern. Spielman says “there was no wrong done by Linval” after an exhibition game Friday night when a man opened fire at a downtown night club and injured nine people, including Joseph.
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