A St. Louis police officer has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after he allegedly shot and killed another officer while playing a Russian Roulette-style game shortly after midnight on Thursday morning.
Officer Nathaniel Hendren and his partner were on-duty Wednesday evening when, according to a probable cause statement, Officer Katlyn Alix, who was off-duty, met Hendren and his partner at Hendren’s residence.
While Alix and Hendren were “playing with firearms,” Hendren “produced a revolver,” the statement reads. The officer removed all the bullets from the revolver, then loaded a single bullet back in, and spun the chamber.
He “pointed [the gun] away and pulled the trigger.” No shot was discharged. Alix then took the gun, pointed it at Hendren, and pulled the trigger. No shot was discharged.
Hendren’s partner claims to have felt uneasy about what was happening, according to the statement. He allegedly told Alix and Hendren “that they shouldn’t be playing with guns,” and exited the room with the intention of leaving the residence.
Hendren reportedly took back the gun, pointed it at Alix, and once more pulled the trigger. This time, a bullet was discharged, hitting Alix in the chest. As Hendren’s partner was leaving, he heard the fatal shot, and returned to the scene.
“Hendren and his partner reported the shooting on their police radios at 12:56 a.m. Thursday and loaded Alix into their police department SUV, taking her to the hospital,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Alix was later pronounced dead.
On Friday, Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner issued a statement, which reads in part:
At this point based upon the evidence, my office filed at-large charges against SLMPD officer Nathaniel Hendren for involuntary manslaughter first degree. It’s a class C felony, for a term not less than three years and not to exceed ten years.
I have said this many times before; I will hold people accountable who violate Missouri law regardless of their profession, public status or station in life. Today, as much as it saddens my staff and me to file these charges, Katlyn and her family deserve accountability and justice.
I cannot discuss details of this incident outside of the charging documents. But what I can say is that this investigation is ongoing, and we will do whatever is necessary to get to the truth of this incident. Katlyn’s family and this community deserve nothing less.
Although the statement from Gardner notes only that Hendren has been charged with “involuntary manslaughter first degree,” according to Missouri state law (emphasis added):
…any person who commits any felony under the laws of this state by, with, or through the use, assistance, or aid of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon is also guilty of the crime of armed criminal action and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment by the department of corrections and human resources for a term of not less than three years.
CNN reports that “it’s unclear whether Hendren has been arrested.”
The Daily Wire reached out to the St. Louis Police Department for comment, but was directed to the Circuit Attorney’s Office, which has not replied to our inquiries as of publication.
We also attempted to contact Nathaniel Hendren’s attorney via phone and email, but we have not received a reply.