Police Officer Charged In Russian Roulette Death Of Female Officer

A St. Louis police officer is in custody, three days after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a female officer during what was described as a deadly game with a revolver.

Nathaniel Hendren was charged Friday and booked Monday. Authorities did not disclose the reason for the delay.

A booking photo shows him with a black eye. Sources told CBS affiliate KMOV-TV that Hendren was hospitalised for busting his head through a police cruiser's back window.

He is being held on $US 50,000 ($AU 35,800) cash-only bond, an amount his lawyer is trying to get reduced, KMOV reported.

Katlyn Alix was with two male officers at an apartment early Thursday. Prosecutors say Hendren and Alix were taking turns pulling the trigger of a gun while pointing it at each other when it went off, killing Alix. She was 24.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Alix's funeral.

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A probable cause statement said Alix and Hendren were playing with guns when Hendren produced a revolver.

"The defendant emptied the cylinder of the revolver and then put one cartridge back into the cylinder," the statement said. He allegedly spun the cylinder, pointed the gun away and pulled the trigger.

The gun did not fire. The statement said Alix took the gun, pointed it at Hendren and pulled the trigger. Again, it didn't fire.

Hendren "took the gun back and pointed it at the victim (and) pulled the trigger causing the gun to discharge," the statement said. "The victim was struck in the chest."

Hendren's attorney, Talmage E. Newton IV, released the following statement:

"The death of Officer Kaitlyn Alix was a tragic accident that has unalterably impacted the lives of everyone involved. I urge the public, as well as members of the police department, to wait until the investigation is complete, and all of the facts have been presented, before coming to any conclusions about what they believe happened that unfortunate morning.

"My deepest sympathies and condolences are with Officer Alix's family."