Off-duty St. Louis police officer was shot dead and killed by colleague who 'mishandled' gun

Officer Katlyn Alix was pronounced dead at the hospital following a meeting with two on-duty fellow officers. 

Details surrounding Alix's death in which one of the officers "mishandled a firearm" remain sketchy. The incident, which took place early Thursday, is being investigated.

The spokeswoman for St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office, Michelle Woodling, told CNN that Alix was off-duty when she was killed. The two other officers were "29-year-old white males."

Alix, 24, and the two men were at an apartment in Carondelet neighborhood. They were seated in the living room when one male officer "mishandled a firearm and shot [Alix] in the chest." 

HOW KATLYN ALIX ENDED UP DEAD

A statement released by police said that the men then called for "an officer in need of aid" at 12:56 a.m. Instead of waiting, they took Alix to the hospital. 

Soon after her arrival at St. Louis University Hospital, medical personnel declared her dead. Police Chief John Hayden referred to the shot that killed Alix as an "accidental discharge of a weapon." 

The weapon was retrieved from the apartment. Authorities identified it as a revolver rather than a department firearm. Police refrained from saying how many shots were fired, or how many times Alix was hit. 

POLICE KEPT A LOT OF INFORMATION HIDDEN

They have also kept the names of the two officers involved under wraps. However, the two men were regularly on-duty together and were close. Only one was hospitalized after the shooting. He was released soon after. 

In addition to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Missouri Highway Patrol is assisting with investigating the incident. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner made the announcement in a tweet. 

She further wrote: 

“This is a tragic situation. The family of Officer Alix deserves a complete, objective and thorough investigation of this incident. My office is approaching this criminal investigation with the highest level of seriousness and urgency.”

REPORTS OF SOMEONE YELLING INCREASES CONFUSION

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a neighbor heard yelling around the time Alix was killed. The woman remained anonymous as she recalled the incident. 

She said she heard a gunshot at minutes to 1 a.m. and then recounted the scream:  

"Oh, my God! Somebody help!" 

Afterward, the neighbor said she saw a policeman either on the phone or on a police radio. He gave the receiver his location and then drove away. The area was filled with activity sometime after.

ALIX WAS IN THE ARMY LONGER THAN HER TIME ON THE FORCE

Alix was on the force for two years before the tragedy. Aimee Chadwick spoke to the media about her daughter who attended Holt High School in Wentzville. 

She was in the Army for six years. In 2016, she joined the force before graduating from the academy in 2017. She served in the Sixth District before reassignment to the Second District as a patrolman.

SLMPD Commissioner John Hayden described Alix in a statement: 

"Officer Alix was an enthusiastic and energetic young woman with a bright future ahead of her."

A CLOSE FRIEND REMEMBERED HER COMRADE

Taylor Rumpsa claimed to be Alix's friend of several years. She said they would smoke cigars together. Their mothers would tell them off for being too unladylike. 

Rumpsa said: 

"Fitness was a big deal for her. She could lift ungodly amounts of weight. She loved kids, and she'd try to shoot hoops with them, but she wasn't very good at it."

Rumpsa elaborated on Alix's work ethics during their time at the police academy. Alix dominated the academy, she said. Ultimately, she gained the title of vice president of the class. 

The St. Lous Police Officers Association acknowledged the public's need to "understand what happened." They responded with a sense of gloom, however.

Jeff Roorda, the business manager for the union, said: 

"But for now, we wait, we wonder, and we weep." 

Alix is survived by her husband, her parents, and her sister as well as other family members. 

GREEN BERET SERGEANT KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

The news follows reports of a US Army Staff Sergeant who died from small arms fire in Afghanistan on Tuesday. 

Joshua "Zach" Beale was the sole victim killed during combat operations in Tirin Knot, the capital city of Urozgan province.

This was Beale's third deployment to Afghanistan since joining the army. He had been part of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Force Group (SFG) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. 

Posthumously, Beale received a Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and a Purple Heart. He was a Green Beret from Carrolton, Virginia. He left behind a wife and two children. 

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