Vikings’ Griffen willingly leaves home after negotiations with police

Everson Griffen was involved in lengthy negotiations with law enforcement Wednesday from his Minnetrista home before the standoff was resolved.

The Vikings defensive end left his home and was taken away in a medical transport several hours after police arrived because he called 911.

“Shortly after 1:30 pm this afternoon, Everson Griffen came out of his residence without incident,” Minnetrista polic said. “He was transported by ambulance to an area heath care facility where he is receiving appropriate care.”

“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.

Griffen, 33, posted a video on Instagram early Wednesday morning saying people were trying to kill him, and called police to his home. He was alone inside the house with police outside in a standoff that lasted several hours.

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.

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.

Griffen and his wife, Tiffany, have three children.

“Their family is our family, and it’s important in this moment to respect health and well being of everyone in this situation,” Spielman said.

“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.” 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.

Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this story.


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