A young female officer named Katlyn Alix was shot in the chest late one night by a fellow deputy in the deputy’s own apartment. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Commissioner John W. Hayden Jr. initially told reporters that 24-year-old officer Katlyn Alix “mishandled” a firearm. Now police are investigating.
Because officer Alix didn’t live to tell her side of the story, it would be easy for the firing officer to come up with a false story so the truth of the incident could be swept under the rug. According to Commissioner Hayden’s preliminary story, off-duty Officer Katlyn Alix entered the city’s Carondelet neighborhood and joined two on-duty male officers at one of their apartments. She "mishandled" a firearm and was shot in the chest shortly before 1 a.m. in the officer’s living room.
A probable cause statement that got leaked to the public reveals there is more to the story. Sgt. Hellmeier wrote that he has probable cause to believe that the other officer in the room, Nathaniel R. Hendren, committed two felonies -- involuntary manslaughter in the first degree and armed criminal action.
Upon further investigation, the officers were playing Russian roulette with the firearm. The shooting officer, 29-year-old Nathaniel Hendren, used a snub nose revolver. Hendren “mishandled” the firearm, causing an “accidental discharge of a weapon.”
Sgt. Hellmeier laid out the events in a signed affidavit:
I learned that the defendant met the victim at the defendant’s home. The defendant was on duty as an officer. The victim, also an officer, was off duty. The victim and the defendant were playing with firearms when the defendant produced a revolver. The defendant emptied the cylinder of the revolver and then put one cartridge back into the cylinder. He spun the cylinder and pointed it away and pulled the trigger. The gun did not fire at this point. The victim took the gun and then pointed the gun at the defendant and pulled the trigger. The gun still did not fire. The defendant took the gun back and pointed it at the victim, pulled the trigger, causing the gun to discharge. The victim was struck in the chest. The victim subsequently died from the gunshot wound in the chest.
The defendant’s partner, also present in the apartment, had previously warned the two officers that they shouldn’t be playing with guns. The third officer was uncomfortable around the two and didn’t want to be part of the stupidity. He started to leave. After he left the room, he heard a shot. When he went back into the room, he saw that officer Alix had been shot in the chest. He then proceeded to help his partner rush the fatally wounded officer to the emergency room. Officer Alix leaves behind a husband.
The involved officer, Nathaniel Hendren, is now charged with involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action. He leaves behind his career with the SLMPD and faces ten years in prison.