Vikings' Joseph releases statement after being injured in nightclub shooting


Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who was one of nine people injured in a shooting at a Minneapolis nightclub early Saturday, says he's excited to return to the field in the near future.

Joseph released a 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.

Joseph and several of his teammates were at the 400 Soundbar nightclub after the Vikings' 10-6 preseason opener win over the Oakland Raiders Friday night. The Star Tribune says the players were in the back of the building when the shooting occurred in the front of the building. The other players haven't been identified.

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 and released from a hospital.

Joseph returned to training camp in Mankato Sunday, but will likely be held out of practice for the next week or so.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman told the Associated Press Joseph's wound is no cause for concern and "there was no wrong done by Linval" in incident.

Two people suffered serious injuries in the shooting, and were listed in stable condition Saturday, police spokesman Scott Seroka told the media. The other seven victims were described as having minor injuries.

Minneapolis police said this was not a random shooting and was likely gang-related, adding the shooter was targeting one person.

A firearm was recovered, but no arrests have been made. More information about the shooting is expected to be released Monday, KSTP says.

The owner of 400 Soundbar says the nightclub is shut down indefinitely. City leaders said there have been safety issues at the nightclub for the last few years and the bar was operating under a series of license conditions that required heightened security, among other measures, WCCO reports.

Soundbar's owner, Johann Sfaellos, released a statement Saturday:

Dear friends and family, we will not be opening this weekend due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances. Our thoughts and prayers go to all the ones that suffered. Our vision was always a civilized and pleasant diverse environment, however last night left us all baffled and surprised. We need to step back and evaluate what is all about. The public safety is our number one concern right now and we are asking for your support and understanding.

Although the city had a role in shutting down the bar temporarily, Sfaellos agreed to the closure and decided to shutdown indefinitely, WCCO says.

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