Attorney for St. Louis cop accused of shooting colleague decries rumormongers

Nathaniel Hendren

ST. LOUIS – The attorney representing a St. Louis police officer accused of fatally wounding a colleague is chastising anyone speculating or spreading rumors about the moments leading up to the shooting.

Officer Katlyn Alix, who was off-duty, was shot in the chest around 1 a.m. on Thursday, January 24, while inside the home of Officer Nathaniel Hendren.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office charged Hendren with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in Alix’s death. Hendren turned himself over to authorities on Monday.

Since the charges were filed, discussion about the shooting has occurred online and in conversation, with speculation mounting.

Talmage Newton IV, Hendren’s attorney, released a statement Tuesday criticizing anyone spreading rumors about the case.

“We are aware of the rumors, innuendo, and salacious gossip surrounding the accidental death of Officer Katlyn Alix. There is no evidence, nor will there ever be, that this was anything more than a tragic accident. Nate Hendren is devastated by the loss of Katlyn Alix. Spreading rumors and creating unsupported theories is dishonorable on the part of the public, the police department, and the media. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Officer Alix’s family during this difficult time.”

Officer Katlyn Alix

Hendren appeared in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday via video conference. He’s being moved to another jail outside the city for his safety.

Meanwhile, Officer Alix’s family has hired a legal team headed by Scott Rosenblum to uncover answers surrounding Alix’s death. Rosenblum said civil litigation would be on the table.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said Hendren and his partner went to Hendren’s apartment during their shift. They were on duty in another district. Alix also stopped by the home.

Hendren and Alix were playing with firearms including a revolver. Hendren emptied the revolver and then put one round back into the cylinder.

He spun the cylinder, pointed it away, and pulled the trigger. The gun did not fire.

Alix took the revolver from Hendren, pointed the gun at him, and pulled the trigger. The gun did not fire.

Hendren took the gun back, pointed it at Alix, and pulled the trigger. The gun fired and Alix was shot in the chest.

Police recovered the revolver at the apartment. The officers rushed Alix to the hospital, where she later died. Alix was 24.

The probable cause statement says Hendren’s partner felt uncomfortable and told the two they should not play with the guns prior to the shooting.

Also Tuesday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner called the police department “obstructionist” in a letter to Chief Hayden and claimed police investigators had a “pre-disposed conclusion” regarding the case.

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