A male St. Louis police officer has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in this week’s shooting death of a female officer in what was described as a deadly game with a revolver, according to a probable-cause statement.
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced the charge Friday against Officer Nathaniel Hendren, 29, in Thursday’s death of Officer Katlyn Alix, 24.
“I will hold people accountable regardless of their profession, public status or station in life,” Gardner said in a statement.
The pair were allegedly playing the game in which they took turns pointing a gun at one another, with one bullet in the chamber, in a modified version of “Russian roulette,” according to court documents.
Hendren was charged with two felonies: involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action, a report said.
A probable cause statement from police offered a chilling account of the dangerous game that authorities said led to Alix’s death inside Hendren’s home.
“The defendant emptied the cylinder of the revolver and then put one cartridge back into the cylinder,” the statement said. He allegedly spun the cylinder, pointed the gun away and pulled the trigger; the gun did not fire.
The statement said Alix then took the gun, pointed it at Hendren and pulled the trigger, when it again didn’t fire.
Hendren “took the gun back and pointed it at the victim (and) pulled the trigger causing the gun to discharge,” the statement said. “The victim was struck in the chest.”
Alix was taken to St. Louis University Hospital where she died, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Hendren and his partner were working a late shift Wednesday, but traveled to his house two miles away from the southeastern border of the district of their assigned patrol area, the paper reported. They were required to remain in their assigned district at all times, the report said.
Alix, an Army veteran, was off-duty and met the men at the home, where she was killed just before 1 a.m.
Police Chief John Hayden has declined to answer questions about why the officers had gathered at the apartment.
St. Louis police said the charges were the result of a promise Hayden made to Alix’s family to conduct a “thorough and competent investigation.”
Alix was a patrol officer who had graduated from the St. Louis Police Academy in January 2017.