Everson Griffen was taken to a mental health facility Wednesday afternoon, ending an impasse between the Vikings defensive end and police that lasted several hours.
Griffen called 911 shortly after 3 a.m. from his home in Minnetrista saying someone was with him and that he needed help from law enforcement. He also told the dispatcher that he fired one round but nobody was wounded, police said; they added no intruder was found.
The 33-year-old former Pro Bowl player had posted, then deleted, a video on Instagram saying people were trying to kill him as he held a gun in his hand.
He was alone inside the house, with police outside, until early afternoon. Vikings mental health professionals assisted for several hours.
"Shortly after 1:30 pm this afternoon, Everson Griffen came out of his residence without incident," Minnetrista police said. "He was transported by ambulance to an area health care facility where he is receiving appropriate care."
Coach Mike Zimmer, at his 10:30 a.m. press briefing, reiterated the team's concern and said he spoke to the players about Griffen's situation earlier in the day.
Griffen and his wife, Tiffany, have three children.
"We got him the necessary help that he needs and ... care of medical professionals," said Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman, who was outside Griffen's house for part of the day. "Their family is our family, and it's important in this moment to respect health and well-being of everyone in this situation.
"I can't tell you how fortunate we are to have the mental health team we have in place that was over there with me and to watch the law enforcement groups and how they handled the situation."
Early Wednesday morning, Griffen posted screenshots on his Instagram account of text messages to his agent Brian Murphy, asking for help, telling Murphy to call 911 and saying, "People are trying to kill me."
The video, posted briefly, showed Griffen in his house holding a gun, saying people were trying to kill him and that he had purchased the gun and bullets legally.
Spielman said he drove to Griffen's house early Wednesday morning, shortly after he'd received word about the situation, and spent part of the day relaying information to the Vikings' owners and front office. He talked with Dr. Nyaka NiiLampti, the NFL's vice president of wellness and clinical services, as the Vikings worked through an emergency action plan they'd refined three years ago after a mental health incident involving Griffen.
In September 2018, Griffen was taken by ambulance to a hospital after two incidents prompted police involvement. During those incidents, Griffen threatened violence at the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis and made comments about people trying to kill him.
The defensive end spent four weeks undergoing mental health treatment before returning to the Vikings that season, and later revealed he lived in a sober house for the final three months of the 2018 season. He played 17 of the team's 18 regular-season and playoff games in 2019 before leaving in free agency and playing for the Cowboys and Lions.
This summer, the Vikings brought Griffen back on a non-guaranteed veteran minimum salary contract after a tryout during training camp. The deal came after a long conversation with Zimmer, who said on Aug. 23, "It seems like he's in a good place. Hopefully he can continue to do that, and if he does he can help us."
When the Vikings signed Griffen in August, they had intended to use him only in pass-rushing situations, but he played well enough to regain his old spot as the team's starting right defensive end and was especially valuable in light of Pro Bowl defensive end Danielle Hunter incurring a season-ending injury. Griffen is second on the team with five sacks.