NOVI, MI – NHL Goalie Matiss Kivlenieks, of the Columbus Blue Jackets, was killed on the Fourth of July while sitting in a hot tub when an errant mortar shell tipped and started shooting in his direction. Police in Novi said Kivlenieks tried to run away from the exploding shells and slipped getting out of the hot tub. He suffered a head injury during his fall.
Police said he was rushed to the hospital by EMTs shortly after their arrival at 10:13 pm and was pronounced dead a short time later.
“We are shocked and saddened by the loss of Matiss Kivlenieks, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his mother, Astrida, his family and friends during this devastating time,” said John Davidson, president of hockey operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets. “Kivi was an outstanding young man who greeted every day and everyone with a smile and the impact he had during his four years with our organization will not be forgotten.”
“It’s with a very heavy heart that we share the news that goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks passed away last night at the age of 24. We are heartbroken. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers,” the Blue Jackets said in a statement.