ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed the city of St. Louis from a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of a St. Louis police officer who was fatally shot by another officer during a Russian roulette-style game.
Officer Katlyn Alix died in January 2019 after she was shot by officer Nathaniel Hendren at his home while she was off duty and Hendren was supposed to be working.
U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Clark ruled Wednesday that although Hendren was on duty when Alix was killed, the shooting was “of a distinctively personal nature,” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The city filed a motion to be dismissed from the lawsuit, arguing that Hendren wasn’t acting in his official capacity as an officer at the time of the shooting.
Clark dismissed civil rights claims against Hendren and ruled that made the lawsuit’s claims against the city moot. He sent the case back to St. Louis Circuit Court for further action.
Hendren, 30, is serving seven years in prison after pleading guilty in March to first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
In the lawsuit, Wahlers contended Hendren had a “complicated psychiatric” history that included anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and that he had forced other girlfriends to play Russian roulette with guns. She contended the city should have known about his history before hiring him.
The ruling leaves Hendren, another officer and their police supervisor as defendants in the lawsuit.