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Cop's Partner: I Told Him Not to Play With Guns. Then, a Shot

Authorities: Nathaniel Hendren 'mishandled' gun while playing Russian roulette; cop Katlyn Alix died
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2019 8:00 AM CST
This undated photo shows officer Katlyn Alix. St. Louis police say an officer "mishandled" a gun and accidentally shot and killed Alix early Thursday at an officer's home.   (St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – A St. Louis police officer is dead, and authorities say her death came at the hands of one of her colleagues while they were playing Russian roulette. USA Today reports that 24-year-old officer Katlyn Alix was shot and killed while off-duty early Thursday in the apartment of fellow officer Nathaniel Hendren, 29, who was on the job at the time; Hendren's partner was also on duty and in the apartment when the shooting happened at around 1am. In a probable cause statement, police say Hendren was the first to empty a handgun of all its bullets, put one back in, spin the cylinder, then point it somewhere in the room and pull the trigger (nothing happened). Next, per the statement, Alix took her turn, though she reportedly pointed the gun at Hendren.

Hendren's partner, meanwhile, was said to have wanted no part of the game, telling them "that they shouldn't be playing with guns and that they were police officers." He says he'd left the room and was getting ready to leave the apartment when he heard a gunshot; Alix was shot once in the chest. A preliminary investigation notes that Hendren "mishandled" the revolver. Per CNN, Hendren has been charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and could face three to 10 years in prison if convicted. "I will hold people accountable who violate Missouri law regardless of their profession, public status, or station in life," St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner said in a statement. "Today, as much as it saddens my staff and me to file these charges, Katlyn and her family deserve accountability and justice." (Read more police shooting stories.)

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