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Minneapolis nightclub closes indefinitely after Vikings player, 8 others injured in shooting


At least nine people were shot at a downtown Minneapolis nightclub early Saturday, in what police describe as an isolated gang-related incident.

Two people suffered serious injuries in the shooting at the 400 SoundBar on 3rd Avenue and 4th Street N., in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis, just before 2 a.m. Both are in stable condition and expected to survive, KSTP reports.

Among the other seven with less serious gunshot wounds is Linval Joseph, a defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings.

Joseph, a 25-year-old in his first year with Minnesota, suffered a minor injury when he was hit in the calf by a stray bullet as an "innocent bystander," the Vikings said in a statement.

He was treated at a hospital and released. Joseph was expected to return to training camp in Mankato Sunday, but will not practice, according to the Star Tribune. He will likely miss a week or two of action as he recovers.

Joseph, in photo above, was with several other players at the club, according to the Star Tribune, which reported that the players were in the back of the building when the shooting occurred in the front of the building. The other players have not been identified.

According to the Pioneer Press, police believe there was only one shooter and are in the process of interviewing witnesses. No arrests have been made.

The club's owner, Johann Sfaellos, was there during the incident and spoke with the Star Tribune, telling the paper there were no arguments or fights leading up to the shooting. He said the club rarely has issues, and opted to voluntarily close the club through the weekend, the Star Tribune reports.

That was quickly extended however.

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The identities of the victims were not released. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Minneapolis police at 612-692-TIPS (8477).

Shootings in Minneapolis

Minneapolis has seen a rash of gun violence so far in 2014.

Through the first six months of the year, MPR reported the number of shootings was up 50 percent compared to the same time last year. The number of homicides was actually down a bit, however.

A string of violent incidents around Fourth of July weekend – two people were stabbed and five people shot, two of them fatally – prompted Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau and Mayor Betsy Hodges to urge residents to put down their guns.

“The violence in North Minneapolis must stop,” said Hodges at the time. “We need to pull out every stop we can to end it as quickly as possible.”

Three people were injured in an overnight shooting hours later.

In late July, the city announced it was adding more police officers to crime-plagued areas of the city through Labor Day.

The next day a 41-year-old man was shot and killed after a verbal altercation on a bus in north Minneapolis. A second shooting happened minutes later nearby.

Shootings statistics

Each week, the Minneapolis Police Department releases a map of all reports of shots fired in Minneapolis over the past seven days – whether it's an actual shooting, the sound of shots fired, or an activation of the ShotSpotter technology. According to those maps, there were nine different shootings recorded from July 29 through Aug. 4 – and dozens more instances of shots fired.

In June, WCCO reported the Minneapolis City Council voted to spend an additional $300,000 in order to expand the ShotSpotter program to more parts of north Minneapolis, due to increased gun violence in the area.

You can see a breakdown of Minneapolis crime statistics – by type of crime, month, and neighborhood – by clicking here. Through July, a total of 18 homicides were recorded throughout the city.

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