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Vikings player among nine wounded in Minneapolis nightclub shooting

By Will Ashenmacher and Chris Tomasson

St. Paul Pioneer Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minnesota Vikings player was one of nine people wounded in a shooting in Minneapolis’ Warehouse District early Saturday morning.

Minneapolis Police Assistant Chief Matt Clark said the shooting was gang-related and that one of the victims was targeted by the shooter.

“I think it’s important to note this is an isolated incident and is unusual for the downtown area,” Clark said.

Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph was an innocent bystander and suffered a minor injury when he was grazed on the calf by a stray bullet, the team said in a statement issued Saturday. Joseph was treated at a hospital and released.

Off-duty officers were called to the 400 SoundBar nightclub at about 1:40 a.m. Saturday and found nine people with gunshot wounds, the Minneapolis Police Department said. Two of the victims had serious injuries and were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where they were in stable condition Saturday afternoon and expected to survive, police said.

City officials declined to comment further on the shooting victims.

Police believe there was only one shooter but had not yet made any arrests. They did recover a firearm at the scene, Clark said. They are interviewing witnesses and continue to investigate, police spokesman Scott Seroka said.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said the city’s licensing department has worked with 400 SoundBar’s management in the past and over the course of three “settlement conferences” has asked for heightened security measures. She said the club’s ownership had agreed to close the club “indefinitely.”

Joseph was at the nightclub after the Vikings’ 10-6 win over Oakland in the preseason opener Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium. Joseph started and played in the first quarter but was not credited with any tackles.

The Vikings were off Saturday from practice before they return to training camp Sunday in Mankato. Their next preseason game is Aug. 16 against Arizona at TCF Bank Stadium.