Police are looking for the gunman who shot 11 people, including a Minnesota Vikings player, inside a downtown Minneapolis club just before bar closing time Saturday morning.
The shooting occurred at the 400 Soundbar at 3rd Avenue and 4th Street N., about 1:50 a.m. Police said eight of the 11 people injured were treated at Hennepin County Medical Center with gunshot wounds. Two of the victims with serious injuries are in stable condition and expected to survive.
Among the injured was Linval Joseph, a defensive tackle with the Minnesota Vikings. In a prepared statement Saturday, the Vikings described Joseph as an “innocent bystander” and said he was hit in the calf by a stray bullet. The injury was minor, and Joseph was treated and released at a hospital, the Vikings said.
Club owner Johann Sfaellos was there and said it was a typical night with bar patrons busy socializing and dancing; no fights broke out, he said.
“Suddenly, a person just pop, pop, pop,” he said of the shooter, who he said dropped the gun on the ground and disappeared before his security officers located the gun. “The whole thing was surreal. It was out of the blue. It was a normal night, nice party, nice crowd. And then some guy started shooting. No arguments, no nothing.”
Sfaellos said Soundbar has security officers who check for weapons before people enter the club and “we can’t figure out how [the shooter] got in.” Sfaellos has been in contact with police and city leaders, and he said he’s voluntarily closing the club until at least Monday.
“I’m not in the business for that, I’m not in the business for violence,” he said. “This is not what I’m looking for.”
Sfaellos, a longtime owner of several downtown clubs, said there are few incidents ever reported at 400 Soundbar.
“We get the least calls to police,” he said. “We don’t do that crowd.”
Spokesman Scott Seroka said police are doing an “expansive investigation” on the incident. Investigators believe there was only one shooter inside the club. They have interviewed dozens of witnesses and are following up on leads; no suspect is in custody yet. Police expect to release more information Saturday afternoon.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Minneapolis police at 612-692-TIPS (8477).
Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141