‘He Took Our Boy’: Family Of Hockey Star Killed Mid-Game ‘Absolutely’ Seeking ‘Justice’ And ‘Complete Investigation’


Robert McGreevy Contributor
Font Size:

The family of now-deceased hockey star Adam Johnson wants answers.

The 29-year-old Johnson was playing for the Nottingham Panthers of Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League when a member of the opposing team, Matt Petgrave, appeared to swing his skate up during a collision with Johnson, severing the carotid artery in Johnson’s throat, according to Yorkshire Live.

Johnson, who previously played for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, collapsed and was rushed to a local hospital, where he ultimately died, per the outlet.

Shock from the incident reverberated through the sporting world, with many — including members of Johnson’s own family — speculating about Petgrave’s intentions. His aunt, Keri Johnson, called for a full investigation into Adam’s death and described Petgrave’s actions as “reckless,” according to Yorkshire Live.

“I just want them to get it right,” she told the outlet. “We are looking for justice for Adam.”

After repeatedly reviewing footage of the game, which she was watching with Adam’s parents at their home in Minnesota, she concluded that the fatal kick was “unnecessary,” per Yorkshire Live

“We are absolutely calling for a complete investigation,” she said, according to the outlet. “You don’t take your leg and kick somebody and cut their throat. I’m sorry.” (RELATED: ‘Get The F*ck Outta Here’: NHL Refs Lose It On Players During Heated Game)

“My nephew was 6ft tall, and whether you lost your balance or not, to have that leg come up that high and do a kicking motion like he did, that is just unacceptable,” Johnson continued, adding that she had reviewed the footage “hundreds of times,” Yorkshire Live reported.

She noted that she didn’t believe Petgrave’s intention was to kill her nephew, but said his actions were still out of line.

“I’m sure Mr. Petgrave probably didn’t even think about the consequences could be of that happening, but there comes a time when you have to realize, that’s not hockey. And I’m sure he’s going through a lot too, but he took our boy. There are a few of us in the family that think it was a totally unnecessary, very, very bad action to take,” the victim’s aunt said, per Yorkshire Live. “I just want them to get it right. It’s not going to bring my nephew back. We just want to make sure they get it right. If they find against what I feel, I will have to accept that. But I’ve felt throughout it’s very, very reckless and unnecessary. It took a life. I don’t want to see it for someone else.”

Keri also revealed that Johnson’s father was “a mess” after the death of his son, who she described as “a wonderful young man” who “loved everybody,” per the outlet.