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Man shot to death at Champions Sports Bar was innocent bystander [UPDATES]

Man shot to death at Champions Sports Bar was innocent bystander [UPDATES]

-- Original post published August 8 at 11:08 a.m.; updates at bottom --

One man was killed and another injured following a shooting this morning at Champions Sports Bar and Grill on the 100 block of West Lake Street.

SEE ALSO: Champions Sports Bar sues Mpls, accuses city of trying to drive "black bars" out of business

Details are scant at this point, but according to a Fox 9 report, the shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. Later, the MPD released a statement providing a bit more information.

From the MPD:

Shortly before 12:30 this morning Minneapolis Police officers in the Fifth Precinct responded to a report of a shooting inside of a bar in the 100 block of Lake Street West.

Officers were on scene very shortly after the call and found a 51 year-old male with a life-threatening gunshot wound inside the bar. He was taken to HCMC by EMS and passed away this morning at approximately 7:30. Officers later located a second victim at HCMC with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

No one is in-custody in connection with this incident and Minneapolis Police Department Homicide Unit investigators are assigned to the case. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the MPD's TIPS Line at 612-692-TIPS (8477).

The identity of the deceased and the exact cause of death will be released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office

:::: UPDATE ::::

In a statement, Champions pins some of the blame on the Minneapolis Police Department for creating the conditions in which a shooting could happen inside the bar (for more context, read this post from last winter detailing rising tensions between Champions and the MPD).

Here's the statement:

For many years Champions Saloon & Eatery ("Champions") employed, at its own expense, many wonderful off-duty Minneapolis Police Officers to provide security for its customers and premises. Champions' great working relationship with the 5th Police Precinct changed when Matthew Clark took over from Eddie Frizell as Inspector of the 5th Precinct.

In retaliation against Champions for reporting drug and gang activity occurring at the bus stop at the corner of Lake Street and Blaisdell Avenue to City Council Member Meg Tuthill, Clark issued a City-wide ban on off-duty police officers working at Champions. It is that ban which contributed to the tragic shooting incident that occurred early this morning.

Champions renews its request that the ban be lifted by the City of Minneapolis and that it be allowed to employ the City's finest officers to provide security for its customers.

:::: UPDATE II ::::

The 51-year-old who was shot and killed was an innocent bystander, according to a Star Tribune report .

From the Strib:

According to Ed Matthews, the bar's attorney, a patron entered the bar, "noticed somebody" and began hitting that person. The person being attacked pulled a gun out of his boot and fired twice, injuring the attacker and killing the 51-year-old, whom Matthews described as an innocent bystander.

"This is tragically unfortunate," he said.

Video cameras stationed throughout the bar captured the shooting, Matthews said. The video has been turned over to police investigators.

The victim's name hasn't yet been released, and no arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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