St, Louis police accused of "obstructionist tactic" in probe of cop's Russian roulette death

/ CBS/AP

The St. Louis prosecutor is raising concerns about whether police tried to block drug and alcohol testing of two on-duty officers following the fatal shooting of Officer Katlyn Alix.

Charging documents say Alix and Officer Nathaniel Hendren were taking turns pulling the trigger of a gun loaded with one bullet while pointing it at each other when Alix was shot in the chest. Hendren has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The incident took place Thursday at an apartment where Alix was off-duty and with two on-duty male officers.

In a letter to Police Chief John Hayden and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards that was obtained by CBS affiliate KMOV-TV, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said urine and breath tests were performed on the male officers, but not a blood test. She wrote that the way the testing was performed "appears to be an obstructionist tactic."

Gardner's letter said there was "probable cause at the scene that drugs or alcohol may be a contributing factor in a potential crime."

This undated photo released by the St. Louis Police Department shows officer Katlyn Alix. St. Louis Police Department

At a press conference Tuesday, Edwards defended the St. Louis Police Department and the chief's actions.

"Our officers are not obstructionist," he said, KMOV-TV reported.

"We have to be careful and we have to be fair and we should not vilify the entire department based on what has transpired here," he said.

He said it's the role of the police department, not the prosecutors, to process a crime scene.

First published on January 30, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

katlyn-alix-5c4a085294960-image.jpg

Police accused of "obstructionist tactic" in probe of Russian roulette death

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said urine and breath tests were performed on male officers, but not a blood test

updated 9M ago

Deadly polar vortex blasts Midwest with deep freeze

Cities across the Midwest scrambling to protect people from historic cold

updated 14M ago

Mom holding 1-year-old dies after falling down subway stairs

Her death is calling attention to an issue disability rights activists have been pointing to for decades

updated 31M ago

Will your tax refund be delayed by shutdown?

Now that Internal Revenue Service has reopened its doors, taxpayers seeking refunds are urged to file returns ASAP

updated 36M ago

Drugmaker doubles recall of infant ibuprofen

Some batches found with overly high concentrations of the drug, with infants especially vulnerable to adverse effects

updated 3M ago

House to vote on pay increase for federal workers

The bill calls for a cost of living increase of 2.6 percent after a 35-day-long partial government shutdown

1H ago

Court to hear arguments over Ohio law banning abortions due to Down syndrome

The law's defenders argue it is a limited restriction intended as an anti-discrimination measure

3H ago

Bill Clinton unveils projects to aid Puerto Rico, Caribbean in wake of hurricanes

The announcement comes as the region struggles to rebuild more than a year after hurricanes Irma and Maria

3H ago

Trump hails "best" relationship with N. Korea despite intel on nukes

The president's tweets come after intelligence chiefs doubted the progress toward complete denuclearization in North Korea

2H ago

Transcript: Michael Rogers on "Intelligence Matters"

Former NSA director on actions U.S. can take to deter cyber attacks

5H ago

Taliban talks reconciliation, ex-U.S envoy says don't trust them

U.S. envoy has said "draft" framework agreed with Taliban but former U.S. officials warn the group will say anything to bring about American withdrawal

2H ago

India closes slaughterhouses leaving free-range cow menace

Slaughtering cows, considered holy by Hindus, is banned in parts of India

4H ago

Human trafficking, particularly of girls, "on the rise"

United Nations report warns "far more" girls being trafficked, with sexual exploitation seen as the primary motivation of gangs, terror groups

1H ago

Brazil's deadly dam waste threatens water supply

Dam failure has already left 84 dead and a potential environmental disaster is still looming

6H ago

Venezuela's Maduro claims Trump ordered his assassination

But the embattled leader, no longer recognized by U.S., also signals new willingness to negotiate as pressure mounts from inside and outside Venezuela

3H ago

"Empire" actor had noose around his neck, police say

He said he was beaten on a Chicago street by two masked men who shouted racist epithets, gay slurs and put a noose around his neck

3H ago

Grammy-winning R&B singer James Ingram dies at 66

James Ingram has been nominated for 14 Grammy Awards, winning for "100 Ways" in 1981 and for "Yah Mo B There" in 1984

14H ago

"Empire" actor assaulted in possible hate crime, police say

The actor told Chicago Police a group of men yelled racial and homophobic slurs and wrapped a rope around his neck

11H ago

Gwyneth Paltrow sued over alleged "hit and run ski crash"

A Utah man says the actress was "skiing out of control" when she knocked him down, leaving with with severe injuries

17H ago

Kendall Jenner and top models can be subpoenaed over Fyre Festival

Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski among the models who can be subpoenaed for promoting the failed music festival

18H ago

Facebook paying teens for info on their phone activity

Facebook disputes report that practice has been "secret "and constitutes "spying" on participants

4H ago

Chicago is expected to be colder than Mount Everest base camp

It's also set to be colder than the South Pole

16H ago

NOAA responds to Trump's climate change skepticism with a cartoon

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tweeted increasing winter storms are a side effect of global warming

2H ago

Earnings week for Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon

High-tech giants in Wall Street spotlight as investors look for signs that explosive growth is holding up

23H ago

What is the polar vortex and is global warming to blame?

Some scientists think the natural phenomenon bringing brutally cold weather to much of the nation has an unlikely helper

1H ago

Drugmaker doubles recall of infant ibuprofen

Some batches found with overly high concentrations of the drug, with infants especially vulnerable to adverse effects

updated 3M ago

Court to hear arguments over Ohio law banning abortions due to Down syndrome

The law's defenders argue it is a limited restriction intended as an anti-discrimination measure

3H ago

New report finds heavy metals in 45 popular fruit juices

Long-term exposure to these metals could cause some serious health risks, like kidney disease and certain types of cancer

2H ago

Measles outbreak fuels debate over refusing vaccinations

Measles cases have prompted a health emergency in Washington state

15H ago

How long can a person survive in sub-zero temperatures?

A tragic case in Minnesota highlights the dangers of extremely cold weather

16H ago

Will your tax refund be delayed by shutdown?

Now that Internal Revenue Service has reopened its doors, taxpayers seeking refunds are urged to file returns ASAP

updated 36M ago

Drugmaker doubles recall of infant ibuprofen

Some batches found with overly high concentrations of the drug, with infants especially vulnerable to adverse effects

updated 3M ago

House to vote on pay increase for federal workers

The bill calls for a cost of living increase of 2.6 percent after a 35-day-long partial government shutdown

1H ago

Why big-screen TV returns jump after the Super Bowl

It's known as "wardrobing," a form of fraud consumers use to show off what they can't afford to actually buy

2H ago

Where the green is: Cannabis jobs

Employment in the pot industry is growing, and workers in it earn higher base pay than the typical American

updated 23M ago

"Empire" actor assaulted in possible hate crime, police say

The actor told Chicago Police a group of men yelled racial and homophobic slurs and wrapped a rope around his neck

11H ago

Cop rushed into gunbattle because "my guys were down"

Veteran Houston police officer among 4 shot in attempt to serve search warrant at drug house

16H ago

Cop charged in Russian roulette death appears injured in mugshot

Nathaniel Hendren is in custody three days after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Katlyn Alix

18H ago

Passenger stabs, kills pregnant Lyft driver in Tempe, Ariz.

Police arrested suspect some 133 miles away after they say he stole her SUV, which they think was the motive for the attack

18H ago

Will El Chapo testify in his own defense?

Defense attorneys have raised the possibility of calling "El Chapo" as a witness

Jan 28  Original Article