ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – An off-duty St. Louis Metropolitan Police officer who was shot and killed by an on-duty officer early Thursday morning at a home in south St. Louis is being remembered by her loved ones.
The shooting happened just before 1 a.m. on Dover Place near Colorado Ave., which is about four blocks north of Carondelet Park.
Police told News 4 the female officer, later identified as 24-year-old Katlyn Alix, was at the home of another officer when the accidental shooting occurred.
According to police, Alix was with two male officers when one of the men mishandled a gun and shot her in the chest. After being shot, the two male officers took her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
"Whats going on is that two on-duty officers went by one of their homes," St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said during a Thursday morning press conference. "They were on duty. While they were at that particular home, an off-duty female officer came to that home. While they were there at that home there was, what we understand to be, an accidental discharge. The female off-duty officer was shot in the chest and she was brought to the hospital by those officers. Upon arrival shortly there after, she was pronounced deceased."
Police said the two other officers were on duty at the time of the shooting, and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards told News 4 they were not in their assigned district.
"Of course they are allowed to leave their district, but under certain circumstances, but I am not prepared to give the specific reasons, but they are not so restricted that they cannot leave," Edwards said. "It's our expectation that officers are where they are assigned."
The officers were assigned to District 2, but the home is in District 1, about three miles from where they were assigned.
The police manual states officers must "Constantly patrol his or her beat, except when on special assignments and shall not lounge, loaf or gather with others at any place."
Edwards vowed to investigate the incident thoroughly, saying,"We will get to the bottom of what happened."
Alix went into the police academy in 2016 and had been with the department for two years as a patrolman in the second district.
The male officer who mishandled the gun has been with the department for a year. The other male officer has been with the department for nearly two years. Both are said to be 29-years-old.
A spokeswoman for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office told News 4 it is too early in the investigation to determine whether charges will be filed but their office responded to the scene and is investigating. Thursday afternoon, the Circuit Attorney announced Missouri Highway Patrol will assist in the investigation, along with the Force Investigative Unit.
Police said they recovered a gun at the scene.
After Alix died, the St. Louis Police Department took to Twitter and asked that people keep her family and the department in their thoughts and prayers.
In addition, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said she is sending "blessings" to those who knew the officer and the police department.
Officer Alix's mother told News 4 her daughter wanted to follow the path of her older brother.
"Katie enlisted when she was 17," her mother 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."
Officer Alix's mother also said that her daughter enjoyed the camaraderie of being a police officer.
"She loved her job," Aimee said. "Even on her days off, she would go visit her friends down there because like I guess when you're a police officer, (you have) that close bond with everyone."
She added that Alix was often there when others needed her the most.
"Katie was one of a kind. There will never be another Katie. She was the most generous person, kindest person. If you needed her, she would be there," she said.
Alix's funeral will be held at Kutis City Chapel on Gravois at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
A visitation will be from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday.