Chief holds news conference on investigation into St. Louis officer’s death

STL chief responds to accusations

ST. LOUIS (KFVS/AP) - Police held a news conference on Thursday afternoon, January 31 on the shooting death of Officer Katlyn Alix.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Haden, Jr. addressed how they track officers while on duty.

Effective immediately, he said command officers and supervisors would get roll calls on officers.

“Additionally, supervisors and/or watch commanders will hourly verify the location of each officer on the shift using both the radar system and available GPS technology,” he said.

Chief Haden said a project was underway to replace all laptops in patrol vehicles, which house the GPS technology. He said the vast majority of the laptops are about 10 years old and currently, 40 of the 285 laptops have been replaced.

He said the St. Louis circuit attorney sent a letter to the director of public safety and him raising concerns about the scene investigation and making an accusation that “an apparent obstructionist tactic” was used by investigators.

According to the Associated Press, the letter to Chief Hayden and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards questioned whether police tried to block drug and alcohol testing of two male officers after the shooting.

“Let it be crystal clear that the accusation lodged by the circuit attorney, to say the least, was offensive and insulting to the force investigative unit and myself,” he said.

Chief Haden said although several investigations regarding officers have been in the news in recent weeks, he wanted to reassure the public that officers work hard every day to ensure safety.

He said a few minutes before the news conference, he received an additional court order from the circuit attorney making sure he was “cautious about his statements.”

Officer Alix was laid to rest on Wednesday, January 30.

On Thursday, Officer Nathaniel Hendren, who was charged in the shooting, appeared in court.

His bond was modified to $100,000 with 10 percent cash allowed.

He posted bond and was ordered on house arrest and GPS monitoring 24 hours. He was also ordered to surrender all firearms in his possession and surrendered his passport.

A hearing was scheduled for Monday morning, March 4.

Police on Thursday provided the Associated Press with a copy of an internal police misconduct report against 29-year-old Nathaniel Hendren and his co-worker, who has not been charged. It alleged the officers consumed alcoholic beverages while on duty at the time of Officer Katlyn Alix’s death, in violation of department policy.

The document also alleged that Hendren “recklessly discharged a firearm resulting in the death of another officer.”

A message from the AP seeking comment from Hendren’s attorney was not immediately returned.

The AP reported Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner on Friday announced Hendren was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 24-year-old Katlyn Alix.

Alix was with two male officers at an apartment when she was killed early Thursday. A probable cause statement from Gardner's office says Hendren and Alix were "playing with firearms" when the shooting occurred.

The men drove her to a hospital where she died.

The two male officers were on-duty at the time. Alix was off-duty. Police Chief John Hayden has declined to answer questions about why the officers had gathered at the apartment, which was home to one of the men.

A message seeking comment from police was not immediately returned.

St. Louis Missouri police announced on Twitter that an officer was shot on Thursday, Jan. 24. Police identified the officer as 24-year-old Katlyn Alix.

The announcement came around 1 a.m. Officers said an officer was taken to an area hospital for a gunshot wound.

Click here for more information.

An hour later officers reported the officer died from her injuries.

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.