Nathaniel Hendren
Hendren (left) and Alix (right). (via @TODAYshow/Twitter)
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St. Louis Police Officer Charged With Fatally Shooting Fellow Officer During ‘Russian Roulette’-Style Game

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office has filed criminal charges against Nathaniel Hendren, a St. Louis police officer, following the shooting death of his colleague, Katlyn Alix. Hendren was charged with two felonies: first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

Alix died after getting shot in the chest during a Russian roulette-style game. She was 24. She was also a veteran of the armed forces.

“I will hold people accountable who violate Missouri law,” said Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner during a press conference.

According to the probable cause statement, Hendren “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 statement alleges. “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 to the chest.”

Another officer, identified as Hendren’s partner, was also present at the apartment and said he didn’t want to be involved in the gunplay. He heard the gunshot as he started to leave.

“The defendant’s partner was also present. He advised that he told the defendant and victim that they shouldn’t be playing with guns and that they were police officers,” the statement reads. “He felt uncomfortable with them playing with guns and didn’t want to have any part of it and he started to leave. As he left the room but before leaving the apartment he heard a shot. He went back into the room and saw that the victim had been shot in the chest.”

The St. Louis Police Department mourned Alix’s death in a post to its official Twitter account, saying members of the police department will be wearing the official Department mourning band.

“Officer Alix was an enthusiastic and energetic young woman with a bright future ahead of her,” said Police Chief John Hayden. “On behalf of the Metropolitan Police Department, I extend my deepest sympathies to the Alix family during this extremely difficult time. I ask the St. Louis community to keep the Alix family and the entire Metropolitan Police Department in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn this tragic loss.”

Austin Loethen, a friend of Hendren’s, spoke about the shooting in an exclusive interview with 5 On Your Side.

“I’m just in awe like. I really can’t believe it,” said Loethen, who’s known Hendren for 10 years. “Everybody wanted to be around him just a fantastic stand-up guy.”

Loethen says he never imagined his friend would become involved in such a tragic shooting.

“It’s just absolutely shocking to me,” he said. It just seems like a horrible horrible mistake. It’s hard to believe that something like this can happen to somebody that you can be so close to.”