Prosecutor to review goalie Kivlenieks’ fireworks death

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NOVI, Mich. (AP) — Police in Michigan have turned over their investigation into the fireworks death of Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks to a prosecutor for review.

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),” said Meier, adding that the police investigation was complete unless otherwise directed by the Oakland County prosecutor’s office.

Kivlenieks’ death still is considered accidental, Meier said.

The 24-year-old died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast. Police have said the firework at a private home northwest of Detroit tilted slightly and started to fire toward people nearby. Kivlenieks was in a hot tub and was trying to move out of the way of the firework when he was struck.

He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Kivlenieks 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.

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.

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