St. Louis, MO (KMOV) — Nathaniel Hendren, the former police officer accused of killing Officer Katlyn Alix while playing a type of Russian Roulette game, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
Hendren previously pleaded not guilty but has since agreed to a plea deal that would sentence him to seven years in prison. He was also sentenced to three years for armed criminal action. Both sentences will be served at the same time. Hendren must serve a minimum of three years before he is eligible for parole.
Hendren was on duty with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department when he and his partner met with Alix at his apartment on January 24, 2019. The apartment was not in the same district Hendren and his partner were supposed to be patrolling.
Both Hendren and Alix were playing with guns when Hendren produced a revolver, emptied the cylinder and then put one bullet cartridge back in the cylinder. Hendren then spun the cylinder, pointed the gun away and pulled the trigger but it did not fire.
Alix then took the gun and pointed it at Hendren and pulled the trigger but the gun again did not fire.
Hendren then took the gun back from Alix and pulled the trigger, shooting Alix in the chest. She later died at the hospital.
Hendren was suspended by the department after the shooting. In an internal police misconduct report, a lieutenant alleged that Hendren and his partner were drinking “alcoholic beverages” while on duty that night.
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner released the following statement:
“I am deeply sorry for the senseless loss of Kaitlyn Alix. My heart goes out to her family, friends and the hard working men and women of the St. Louis Metropolitian Police department.” Court documents stated that while at the hospital Hendren “spontaneously stated to his supervisor… that he did not try and kill the victim because he was in love with her and they were in an intimate relationship and were planning on moving into his apartment.”
Previously, the exact relationship between Hendren and Alix had not been known, although the two sometimes patrolled south St. Louis as partners and were said to be friends.
The court document additionally states that Hendren, Alix and the only other officer who was present at the time of the shooting were “very close friends who had a close work and social relationship.”