Former St. Louis cop Nathaniel Hendren, 30, pleaded guilty on Friday to fatally shooting his colleague, police officer Kaitlyn Alix, 24. He admits to one count of involuntary manslaughter in the first-degree, and one count of armed criminal action, authorities say. Prosecutors said he killed her during Russian Roulette on January 24, 2019.
“The events of January 24, 2019 took the life of Kaitlyn Alix, a vibrant 24-year-old promising law enforcement officer who honorably served the people of the City of St. Louis,” @StLouisCityCA Full statement here: pic.twitter.com/luolj0tnx2
— Circuit Attorney (@stlcao) February 28, 2020
The on-duty Hendren and off-duty Alix were in the defendant’s apartment, “dry-firing” with their personal guns, authorities said. He took the cartridges out of his revolver, put one back inside, and spun the cylinder multiple times, prosecutors said. He checked where the cartridge landed. He pulled the trigger while the weapon was pointed down the hallway and the cartridge wasn’t in the “live” position, prosecutors said. According to authorities, Alix took the gun from him, pointed it at him, and pulled the trigger. It didn’t go off. Hendren then took back the revolver, and pulled the trigger while thinking the lone cartridge wasn’t in the active position, prosecutors said. He was wrong. The bullet hit Alix in the chest.
“The reckless behavior that took place that early morning has left an unfillable void for her grieving husband, her parents, and a host of loving family and friends,” said Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner. “Mr. Hendren’s plea admits that his actions were the cause of officer Alix’s death. Although there is nothing that the law can do to restore the life of Officer Alix, it can make sure that the person responsible for her senseless death is held accountable for his careless behavior.”
Hendren was sentenced to seven years for the manslaughter count, concurrent with a three year term for armed criminal action.
[Mugshot via St. Louis County Jail]