Investigation into NHL goalie Matiss Kivlenieks’ death in Novi turned over to prosecutor

Kivlenieks killed by firework on Fourth of July; death considered accidental

Investigation into NHL goalie Matiss Kivlenieks’ death turns over to prosecutor

NOVI, Mich. – Police have finished the investigation into NHL goalie Matiss Kivlenieks’ death in Novi last week.

The 24-year-old, who played for the Columbus Blue Jackets, was struck in the chest by a firework. Kivlenieks was at the home of his coach and former Detroit Red Wings goalie Manny Legace at the time of the incident.

The Novi Police Department has not requested charges in Kivlenieks’ Fourth of July death, Lt. Jason Meier said Monday.

“Due to the high-profile nature, we wanted an extra set of eyes (on the case),” Meier said, adding that the police investigation was complete unless otherwise directed by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.

The cause of death from the Oakland County Medical Examiner Office was chest trauma from the hit he took from a mortar-type firework.

Meier said Kivlenieks’ death is still considered accidental.

A native of Riga, Latvia, Kivlenieks signed with the Blue Jackets as a free agent in May 2017 and played eight games for the club overall.

He most recently represented Latvia this spring at the world hockey championship in which he played four games. This past season, he played two games for the Blue Jackets and eight for the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters.

About the Authors:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.