Jan. 26 (UPI) — A police officer accused of killing an off-duty officer in a game of Russian Roulette has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, prosecutors said.
The St. Louis police Officer Nathaniel R. Hendren, 29, was charged Friday with involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in early Thursday’s shooting death of off-duty officer Katlyn Alix, 24, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Alix, Hendren and his partner met at Hendren’s apartment Thursday while he and his partner were on duty and Alix was off duty, KMOV reported.
Alix was killed while playing Russian Roulette, prosecutors said.
Hendren and Alix were playing with guns when Hendren pulled out a non-department-issued revolver, police said.
Hendren unloaded all the bullets and then put one back in, spun the cylinder, pointed it away and pulled the trigger, but the gun did not fire, according to the statement of probable cause. Alix took the gun, point it at Hendren and pulled the trigger, but the gun again did not fire, authorities said.
Hendren then took the gun back from Alix and pulled the trigger, shooting Alix in the chest, police said. She later died at a hospital.
The partner told investigators he told Hendren and Alix they should not be playing with guns and reminded them they were police officers. He said he almost left because he didn’t want anything to do with it, but he heard a shot.
Hendren and his partner reported the shooting on their police radios and took Alix to the hospital in their police department SUV.
At the hospital, Hendren hit a police SUV parked nearby, which broke the back windshield, suffered minor injuries and was hospitalized, sources told the Post-Dispatch, but the police department refused to confirm that Henderson was hospitalized or give any details on how the SUV’s windshield was shattered.
“I have said many times before that I will hold people accountable who violate Missouri law, regardless of their profession, public status and station in life,” Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said. “Today, as much as it saddens me and my staff to file these charges, Katlyn and her family deserve accountability and justice.”
Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards said the department had been “weakened” by the shooting.
“This should never happen,” Edwards said. “We don’t expect this to happen. We expect our officers to utilize their training and be the most responsible people ever when it comes to handling firearms and unfortunately, it did not happen in this situation.”