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Mpls. Nightclub Shooter Still at Large, Vikings Player will Recover

Updated: 08/11/2014 10:39 AM
Created: 08/10/2014 11:33 AM KSTP.com
By: Beth McDonough

A Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle who was hurt in a shooting inside a downtown nightclub early Saturday that injured a total of nine people is expected to be back in time for the regular season.

Linval Joseph went to the 400 Soundbar nightclub sometime after Minnesota's 10-6 win over the Oakland Raiders in the preseason opener Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium. He was shot in the calf, according to the team.

Joseph released the following statement Sunday:

“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.”

The Vikings said their thoughts were with the victims and that they were "extremely thankful" that Joseph was not seriously hurt. Joseph was back at training camp Saturday, General Manager Rick said Spielman.

Joseph likely won't be able to practice for several days.

"We expect him to make a full recovery and definitely be ready by the regular season," said Spielman.

"He just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Joseph is a nose tackle who signed a five-year contract with the Vikings worth as much as $31.5 million, with $12.5 million guaranteed. He's being counted on as a key cog in new coach Mike Zimmer's defense.

Joseph spent his first four NFL seasons with the New York Giants, starting 46 of 48 games and averaging 55 tackles and three sacks over the last three years. He was also part of the 2011 Super Bowl championship team.

On Sunday, Minneapolis police started reviewing footage from security cameras inside and outside of the nightclub. They're hoping for a good look at the gunman. It's believed the shooting was gang related.  

The owner, Johann Sfaellos, told us Sunday the club is closed until further notice. 

 "It happened back to back to back,” he said. “I heard pop, pop, pop, I heard the whole thing go off and he dropped it on the floor." 

The shooter ran off leaving his gun and people injured. 

We asked how someone got a gun into the facility. Sfaellos replied, "I'm trying to figure that out we have a tight system for patting, searching and looking."

Sfaellos insists his club gets fewer police calls than its neighbors.  Yet, because of other violent incidents in the past, the club has been operating under a conditional license since 2012. Meaning:  heightened security, a do-not-admit list for trouble-makers, sharing event schedules and safety plans with police.

A Minneapolis father was concerned enough about the shooting he stopped to vent with Sfaellos. "I understand we have guns for people to protect themselves, but the guns are in the wrong hands of the wrong people," said Steven O'Neal.

Seven people have been treated and released from the hospital.  Two more are expected to recover. Police say one of them was the intended target.  The victims are between the ages of 20-25. 

Sfaellos will meet with Minneapolis city leaders on Monday to see what happens next if the bar closing is temporary or permanent.   Also Monday, we expect to hear what kind of stepped up enforcement will be in an area that's seen four rounds of violence blamed on gang feuds in less than a year.

Photo: KSTP/TV
Linval Joseph
Photo: AP

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