The family of former NHL player Adam Johnson, who died during a game in England last month when he suffered a fatal cut to the neck by the skate of an opposing player, is speaking out after police arrested a suspect on suspicion of manslaughter.
The South Yorkshire Police announced on Tuesday that a man was taken into police custody in connection with the Oct. 28 death of Johnson, who died while playing in a game for the Nottingham Panthers.
Police have not identified the suspect, but said in an update on Wednesday that he was "released on police bail."
"Our investigation continues and we will provide further updates as and when we can," the statement continued.
Johnson’s aunt, Kari, spoke to The Mirror after news of the arrest broke. She told the British tabloid that she is "glad" with the diligence of the investigators’ work.
"We're just going to have to let it play out and see what happens. Whatever they'd decided, I would have had to live with it. But I'm just glad they are being diligent with doing what they're supposed to be doing."
Johnson, who appeared in 13 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2019 and 2020, was playing in a Challenge Cup game between the Nottingham Panthers and the Sheffield Steelers at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena on Oct. 28 when, during the second period, he suffered a fatal neck wound.
Matt Petgrave, from Sheffield, collided with another player, causing his skate to go up in the air.
The Nottingham Panthers later released a statement confirming Johnson’s death, calling it a "freak accident."
Johnson was laid to rest in Minnesota last week.
"He was many things to many people, but to those who were lucky enough to be loved by Adam knew he was thoughtful, patient and genuinely authentic," an obituary written by Johnson’s family read.
"He loved his fiancée, family and friends above all else. His loving and quiet demeanor will be eternally missed."