Johnson, a U.S.-born professional hockey player, died after his throat was slashed by the skate of opposing player Matt Petgrave. The police news release, issued on November 14, 2023, does not give the identity of the man under arrest.
Video shows the moment that Johnson suffered the ultimately fatal injury on the ice. Johnson’s neck was cut by a skate blade in a “freak accident” during a game in England, his team, the Nottingham Panthers, wrote in an earlier statement.
Here’s what you need to know:
Police in England Announced That The Man ‘Remains in Police Custody’
“Officers investigating the death of Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson have made an arrest,” the police news release says.
“Detectives have today (Tuesday 14 November) arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter. He remains in police custody at this time.”
On Saturday, October 28, 2023, Adam Johnson, aged 29, “was seriously injured during a game between Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers and was sadly later pronounced deceased in hospital. A post-mortem examination confirmed he died as a result of a fatal neck injury,” police wrote.
“Adam’s family is being supported through the investigation by our officers. They have asked for their privacy to be respected at this incredibly difficult time,” they wrote.
Some fans had called for Petgrave to be charged after the incident, while others defended him.
However, again, police have not said whether the man under arrest is Petgrave.
Police Say They Have Spoken to ‘Highly Specialized Experts’ in Their Investigation
Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said in the news release: “Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances.
“We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation,” he said.
“Adam’s death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Sheffield to ice hockey fans across the world. We know these communities will expect us to handle this investigation with the same professionalism, fairness and sensitivity as any other and request that members of the public refrain from comment and speculation which could hinder this process. Our thoughts remain with all affected by this devastating incident as enquiries continue.”
Matt Petgrave, a Youth Mentor, Has Been Described as His League’s Most Penalized Player
3ice described Petgrave as “the EIHL’s most penalized player” while playing for the Sheffield Steelers.
Euro Hockey listed Petgrave as the league’s penalty leader for 2022-23 for the EIHL. The page says he had 129 PIM or “penalty infraction minutes.”
According to his LinkedIn page, Petgrave says he helped mentor youth interested in hockey, writing that he was “responsible for the hockey development of students age 7-adult. The skills I developed from teaching, especially the younger kids are life forming. Through this job I learned the importance of patience, clear communication and persistence.” Petgrave was born and raised in Canada.
Johnson’s biography on the Panthers’ page says he was born in Minnesota. He was 29 years old and “played in four of the world’s best leagues including 13 games for NHL side Pittsburgh Penguins.” According to that bio, he was born in the United States.
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