St. Louis Metropolitan Police Commissioner John W. Hayden Jr. has some explaining to do. Initially, he told reporters that a young police officer's death came as a result of "an accidental discharge" of a weapon. In reality, two of his officers played 'Russian roulette' and it did not end well for either of them.
Police officials initially told reporters that Katlyn Alix's death came as the result of "an accidental discharge of a weapon." From USA Today last Thursday afternoon:
Police in St. Louis are investigating the shooting death of a 24-year-old officer early Thursday by a fellow cop who “mishandled” a firearm, authorities said.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Commissioner John W. Hayden Jr. said Officer Katlyn Alix was shot in the chest shortly before 1 a.m. as she sat in the living room of a fellow officer's apartment in the city's Carondelet neighborhood.
Hayden said two on-duty male officers went to one of their homes in the midst of their shift. Alix, who was off duty, met the officers there.
He said Alix was shot in the chest by a 29-year-old officer in what he described as an “accidental discharge of a weapon.”
The department said a preliminary investigation found the officer "mishandled a firearm."
However, when a Probable Cause Statement leaked, everyone learned the tragic truth. The Police Commissioner's claim that the fatal shot came as a result of an "accidental discharge" from a "mishandled" gun seems deceptive at best.
It doesn't even really begin to describe the felony stupidity involved.
We now know two St. Louis Metro cops played a deadly game of Russian roulette early Thursday morning. In the end, Nathaniel Hendren, shot Katlyn Alix (pictured at top) in the chest with a snub-nosed revolver, killing her.
Hendron, 29, and his partner stopped by his apartment while on-duty around 1 am Thursday, along with an off-duty Katlyn Alix, 24.
According to the probable cause statement, Alix and Hendren began playing with guns. Hendren then produced a revolver and unloaded it, save one bullet. He spun the cylinder, pointed it away and pulled the trigger on an empty chamber.
At this point, Alix took the revolver and pointed it at Hendren – and pulled the trigger. Once more, the gun clicked as the hammer fell fell on an empty chamber. Moments later, rocket scientist Hendren took the revolver from Alix, pointing it at the younger woman's chest. He pulled the trigger, discharging the single round.
Hendren's partner came running back into the room and the two took the mortally wounded Alix to the hospital.
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney made the 'felony stupid' official. Kim Gardner's office charged Hendren with involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
He faces 10 years in prison without much likelihood of a plea deal with the prosecutor's office. The very "progressive" Gardner has already proved herself to be no friend of the local police.
In fact, some describe her as "the most anti-law-enforcement circuit attorney to hold that job." Even the judiciary agrees. A judge barred her office from prosecuting a man shot by police, citing a conflict of interest by Gardner.
Meanwhile, Officer Alix leaves behind a husband. Hendren leaves behind his career with the SLMPD. No word on whether the partner will have a job when the dust settles on the investigation, either.