Police Arrest Man on Suspicion of Manslaughter in Skate Death of Hockey Player Adam Johnson

Johnson's death was confirmed to be a result of a fatal neck injury after a post-mortem examination

<p>Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty</p> Adam Johnson of the Pittsburgh Penguins poses for his official headshot for the 2017-2018 season on September 14, 2017

Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty

Adam Johnson of the Pittsburgh Penguins poses for his official headshot for the 2017-2018 season on September 14, 2017

A man has been arrested in connection to the death of hockey player Adam Johnson, according to multiple reports.

The South Yorkshire Police Department confirmed to BBC that a man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of manslaughter following the 29-year-old athlete's death on Oct. 28 during a game against the Sheffield Steelers.

Johnson's team, the British ice hockey club Nottingham Panthers announced his death on social media in the early hours of Oct. 29, writing on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the player died "following a freak accident" when opponent Matt Petgrave's skate slashed Johnson's neck.

According to the BBC, Johnson's cause of death was confirmed to be a result of a fatal neck injury after a post-mortem examination.

As per UK law, the suspect's name will not be made public until charged with a crime.

<p>Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty</p>

Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty

Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said the investigation "launched immediately following this tragedy," and the department has "been carrying out extensive inquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” per the Washington Post.

Horsfall said the investigation has support from the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council and that his team has been "speaking to highly specialized experts in their field to assist in our inquiries" in the statement.

<p>Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty</p> NHL Star Adam Johnson

Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty

NHL Star Adam Johnson

PEOPLE has contacted the South Yorkshire police for comment.

When the Panthers confirmed Johnson's death in October, the team said it was "truly devastated" by the loss.

"The Panthers would like to send our thoughts to Adam's family, his partner and all his friends at this extremely difficult time," the organization continued. "Everyone at the club including players, staff, management and ownership are heartbroken at the news of Adam's passing. Our thoughts are also with the fans and staff of both clubs, especially those who attended or were following the game, who will be devastated following today's news."

“The Panthers would like to thank everyone who rushed to support Adam last night in the most testing of circumstances."

Johnson, a Minnesota native, was an “outstanding ice hockey player" and an "incredible person with his whole life ahead of him," the statement said. After noting that friends, family and the team were seeking to "come to terms with our grief" the statement concluded: "Rest in Peace Adam."

<p>Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty</p> NHL Star Adam Johnson

Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty

NHL Star Adam Johnson

The BBC reported on Oct. 28 that the Challenge Cup match between the two teams at Sheffield Arena was called off when a "major medical emergency" happened during the game's 35th minute. The BBC also noted that the injury that prompted the game's ending was believed to be a cut to the neck from a skate.

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The fans in attendance were then "asked to leave the building," the Panthers organization shared on X. The EIHL itself shared multiple resources to social media for fans and spectators who found the incident "distressing," including outlets for mental health support.

Johnson played for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins during both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, appearing in 13 games during his NHL career. The hockey player also spent time in the American Hockey League, as well as overseas in Sweden, Germany and most recently in the Elite Ice Hockey League following his college career at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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