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Police on site after incident at home of Vikings' Everson Griffen

Ben Goessling, Star Tribune on

Published in Football

MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen posted a video on Instagram early Wednesday morning saying people were trying to kill him, and called police to his home in Minnetrista, Minn.

Griffen was alone inside the house with police outside in a standoff that stretched into the afternoon. He called 911 shortly after 3 a.m. from his home in the 5700 block of Hardscrabble Circle and said someone was with him and that he needed help from law enforcement, but no intruder was located, Minnetrista police said. He also told the dispatcher that he fired one round but nobody was wounded, police added.

Since about 7 a.m., law enforcement have been in on-going communication with Griffen, who has refused to come out of his residence. Vikings staffers had also been on the scene.

"At this time, law enforcement officers are confident Griffen is alone inside the home and continue to work with him to resolve the situation," a statement from police read.

The Vikings issued this statement: "Vikings representatives and the team's mental health professionals have been on-site at Everson Griffen's home since early this morning and are cooperating with law enforcement. Our only concern at this time is the safety and well-being of Everson and his family."

Coach Mike Zimmer, at his 10:30 a.m. press briefing, reiterated the team's concern and said he spoke to the players earlier in the day. Zimmer said he learned of the situation early Wednesday morning and deferred questions to general manager Rick Spielman, who was scheduled to address the media later Wednesday.

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." A video on Griffen's Instagram account, which was later deleted, showed the 33-year-old in his house holding a gun, saying people were trying to kill him and that he had purchased the gun and bullets legally.

 

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.

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."

They had intended to use the 33-year-old 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.

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Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this story.

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