Occasionally, people who should know better do really stupid things. Those stupid things can leave a person dead, as they did in the early morning hours of January 24, 2019.
St. Louis Police Department officers Nathaniel Hendren and Katlyn Alix played a game of Russian Roulette at Hendren’s home.
Katlyn Alix lost.
On February 28, 2020, Nathaniel Hendren pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter for killing Katlyn Alix and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes the events of that fateful night.
The two were “dry firing” their personal guns, authorities said. Hendren removed the bullets from a revolver, then put one back in, spun the cylinder, pointed it away and pulled the trigger. The gun didn’t fire. Alix took the gun, pointed it at Hendren and pulled the trigger. Hendren took the gun back, pointed it at Alix’s chest and fired, hitting her once.
Hendren and his partner, Patrick Riordan, had skipped out on a call for an alarm at a business, instead calling another officer to check on the alarm as they hung out with Alix miles away from the business. Riordan has not been charged.
Alix was off-duty at the time. Hendren was not. No explanation was given why he and his partner were at Hendren’s home, drinking, while on duty in another part of the city.
Katlyn Alix, a married, two-year veteran, was reportedly in a relationship with Hendren when she died.
A lawsuit filed Alix’s mother, Aimee L. Wahlers, claims Nathaniel Hendren forced his girlfriends to play Russian Roulette in the past, suffered from PTSD, suicidal ideation and sometimes placed a loaded gun to his head “just to feel something.”
“Officer Alix, who was off duty, was intoxicated and vulnerable,” the lawsuit stated.
During his sentencing hearing, Nathaniel Hendren offered his apology to Katlyn’s family.
“I simply wish to express my sincere remorse to this court and to the family of Katlyn Alix, a wonderful woman full of tenacity and self-determination,” he said.