St. Louis, MO – St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) Officer Katlyn "Katie" Alix was fatally shot by a fellow officer on Thursday morning, when a weapon accidentally discharged and struck her in the chest, the police chief said.
The fatal incident occurred just before 1 a.m., after two 29-year-old male SLMPD officers stopped by a residence belonging to one of them during their shift, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
While there, 24-year-old off-duty Officer Alix showed up.
SLMPD Chief John Hayden said that the three officers were close and often worked together.
They were standing in the living room of the Dover Place residence when one of the officers “mishandled a firearm and shot [Officer Alix] in the chest” with a revolver, Chief Hayden said.
The chief referred to the incident as an “accidental discharge of a weapon,” and said that the handgun was not a department-issued weapon.
The on-duty officers sent out an “officer in need of aid” alert, and rushed Officer Alix to St. Louis University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that the officer transported to the hospital has succumbed to her injuries,” the department said in a predawn tweet on Thursday. “We ask that you keep the officer’s family and the entire SLMPD in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of our officer and friend.”
According to police, the officer who shot Officer Alix has been with the department for approximately one year. The other on-duty officer has worked for the SLMPD for about two years.
Police recovered the revolver at the scene.
The investigation into the fatal shooting is ongoing.
St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) Business Manager Jeff Roorda said that the union wants to understand the circumstances surrounding what occurred just as much as everyone else does.
“But for now, we wait; we wonder; and we weep,” the SLPOA said, according to KMOV.
“She served her community and her nation with dignity and courage both as a police officer and as a member of the military,” the statement read. “That is how she lived, as a hero. And, for now, that is all anybody needs to know.”
Officer Alix served as a military police officer before she joined the SLMPD in 2016, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Her mother, Aimee, told KMOV that Officer Alix enlisted in the Army because she wanted to follow in her older brother’s footsteps.
"Katie enlisted when she was 17," Aimee said. "I signed for her because that's what she wanted to do. She was following in her brother's footsteps because he did the same."
She was also deployed to Cuba during her military service, her mother said.
Officer Alix graduated from the police academy in January of 2017, and was assigned to the department’s Sixth District, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
She was working as a patrol officer with the Second District at the time of her death.
“Officer Alix was an enthusiastic and energetic young woman with a bright future ahead of her," Chief Hayden said in a press release.
"On behalf of the Metropolitan Police Department, I extend my deepest sympathies to the Alix family during this extremely difficult time,” the chief continued. “I ask the St. Louis community to keep the Alix family and the entire Metropolitan Police Department in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn this tragic loss.”
Aimee said her daughter “loved her job,” and that she often went to the station even when she wasn’t on duty, KMOV reported.
“She would go visit her friends down there because…when you're a police officer, [you have] that close bond with everyone,” she said.
Officer Alix leaves behind her husband, parents, and sister, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Katlyn "Katie" Alix, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.