Manslaughter arrest over death of ice hockey player Adam Johnson

Pittsburgh Penguins Center Adam Johnson (47) skates during the second period in the NHL preseason game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings on September 20, 2017, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.

Adam Johnson died after his throat was slashed with a skate blade during a match on October 28 – Getty Images/Jeanine Leech

Detectives investigating the death of Nottingham Panthers ice hockey player Adam Johnson after his throat was slashed with a skate blade have arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter.

Officers confirmed that the suspect has been bailed after being questioned about the circumstances of Johnson’s death on October 28.

Police investigating the “tragic and unprecedented” loss of life had warned that an inquiry would take “some time”.

In a statement on Tuesday, South Yorkshire officers confirmed an arrest had been made. Detective Chief Superintendent Becs Horsfall said: “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.”

Officers said a post-mortem examination confirmed Johnson died as a result of a fatal neck injury.

Det Chief Supt Horsfall added: “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.”

The force added that Johnson’s family “is being supported through the investigation by our officers” and “have asked for their privacy to be respected at this incredibly difficult time”.

The senior coroner investigating the death of 29-year-old Johnson, Tanyka Rawden, has already called for ice hockey players to wear neck guards to prevent a repeat.

Police gave no details or an age of the man arrested.

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