ST. LOUIS • Allegations of drinking on duty have been filed against two officers who were at the house when officer Katlyn Alix was killed last week, the Post-Dispatch has learned.
Lt. William Brown alleges in a disciplinary document that Officer Nathaniel Hendren "recklessly discharged a firearm resulting in the death of another officer," and that Hendren and his partner Patrick Riordan "consumed alcoholic beverages while on-duty," according to the document obtained by the Post-Dispatch.
Hendren has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and armed criminal action after police say he fatally shot off-duty officer Katlyn Alix, 24, while he was on-duty in the early morning hours on Jan. 24.
Attorney James Towey said Thursday that his client, Riordan, "blew all zeroes" when he was given a breath test after the shooting. Riordan told investigators that he had taken "a few sips of a beer" while at Hendren's house, Towey said.
"He poured the rest out in a kitchen sink, leaving the can by the sink, and that should be confirmed by crime scene photos," Towey said, declining to answer any further questions.
Hendren's attorney, Talmage Newton IV, said Thursday night that he could not comment on the results of Hendren's alcohol and drug screen because he did not have the results. He accused the police department and circuit attorney's office of "providing information to everyone but me."
Hendren and Alix were taking turns pointing a revolver at each other at Hendren's home in the 700 block of Dover Place when she was shot, court records say. Hendren loaded the weapon with one bullet, according to the charging document.
On the night of the shooting, sources say Hendren and Riordan reported for roll call at 10:50 p.m. at the South Patrol substation on Sublette Avenue. Their beat was bordered by Manchester Avenue on the south, Hampton Avenue on the east, McCausland Avenue on the west and Highway 40 (Interstate 64) to the north.
Hendren and Riordan, both 29, took Alix to St. Louis University Hospital after she was shot in the chest, calling dispatchers from their police radios at 12:56 a.m. Alix was pronounced dead at 1:07 a.m.
Brown filed the allegations of misconduct at 1:30 a.m. Jan. 24, according to the documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch.
He alleged that Hendren violated the department's policy on Standards of Conduct, which states, in part, "Any conduct unbecoming to a member which is contrary to the good order and discipline of the Department, on or off duty."
Brown also accused Hendren and Riordan of violating the department's alcohol policy, which states, in part, "No employee shall report for duty or remain on duty with an alcohol concentration of .04 or greater. Moreover, no employee shall consume alcohol while on duty and/or engaged in city business. This includes a prohibition on alcohol consumption during the entire work period, including, but not limited to lunch and dinner breaks."
The department has confirmed only that it has a policy requiring officers be tested for the presence of drugs and alcohol in an officer-involved shooting. Information on whether the policy was followed and any results are "part of the ongoing investigation," according to department spokeswoman Officer Michelle Woodling.
Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner in a letter released Tuesday questioned whether police tried to block drug and alcohol testing of the two men. The letter to Hayden and Edwards said there was “probable cause at the scene that drugs or alcohol may be a contributing factor in a potential crime.”
Gardner said in the letter that a police lieutenant erroneously told her office that the hospital would not honor a search warrant for the officers’ blood. She also complained that the police department had taken urine and breath tests in a way that she believed would block their use in a criminal prosecution.
Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards on Tuesday said public employees’ urine and breath tests cannot be shielded from prosecutors the same way incriminating statements can be. He said urine is often used to test for drugs, and said prosecutors, and the public, would find out the results of the screening.
He also called the claim that drugs and alcohol may have been at the scene of Alix’s shooting “a bad assumption” but declined to say more.
Police Chief John Hayden held a news conference Thursday afternoon, the first time he has spoken publicly since a news conference outside the hospital following the shooting.
Hendren's attorney declined to comment on the alcohol allegation.
Katlyn Alix's funeral was Wednesday