Vikings’ Everson Griffen willingly leaves home after standoff

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The Minnesota Vikings released a statemen Wednesday afternoon saying defensive lineman Everson Griffen has left his home after a standoff with authorities, is safe, and getting help.

“Shortly after 1:30 pm (Central)this afternoon, Everson Griffen came out of his residence without incident,” Minnetrista police 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.

The team released a more formal statement, thanking authorities.

“Law enforcement agencies have notified us Everson Griffen came out of his home without incident and is now getting the care he needs,” the Vikings said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “We are thankful to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnetrista Police Department and the Orono Police Department for their quick response and dedication to ensuring the situation ended peacefully. Our focus remains on Everson’s health and safety and providing the proper resources for him and his family.”

From the AP report:

Griffen, who took a leave from the team in 2018 for mental health treatment, had posted on Instagram screenshots of middle-of-the-night text messages to his agent, Brian Murphy, that were pleas for help because he said people were trying to kill him. Griffen also posted a video depicting him with a gun that he said was purchased legally. Those posts have since been deleted.

The 12th-year player initially refused to come out of his house because he feared intruders. Police said they were confident Griffen was alone in the home as they worked to resolve the situation.

The incident began overnight when Griffen called the police and said an intruder had come into his suburban Minneapolis home. However, authorities did not find anyone on the grounds.

Griffen told the 911 dispatcher that he fired a weapon but that no one was injured.

During the hours-long standoff, Griffen posted videos showing himself with a gun, saying teammate Dalvin Cook had helped him purchase it.

At practice Wednesday, Cook said he had no knowledge of why Griffen referenced him.

“Since I got here, he was one of the older guys that took me under his wings and taught me, ‘This is what you don’t do, this is how you do it, this is how you take care of your body,'” Cook said. “Just how to be a pro. Appreciate him for that, for the little things he did. Since he got back, our relationship has gotten stronger. He’s been trying to win games. We’ve been on the same mission, all of us, just trying to win games, trying to get better, trying to lead this team in the right way. So we are definitely close. That’s my brother. I just want him to be OK. In his mind, make sure his family is OK. I just want what’s best for Everson overall.”