A Stillwater man is dead and one officer is on standard administrative leave after police and the suspect exchanged gunfire March 4.
At approximately 2:29 p.m. on March 4, Stillwater police were dispatched to an apartment building at 2225 Orleans St. W.
Police ended up shooting and killing the suspect, identified as Okwan Rahmier Sims, 21, prompting the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to complete an independent investigation. The officer who shot Sims has also now been identified, Justin Dowley.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Sims died of multiple gunshot wounds.
According to the BCA, Dowley fired his service rifle in gunfire exchange with Sims. Dowley has seven years of law enforcement experience. He is on standard administrative leave.
A second officer is also on leave. It’s unclear at this time whether he fired his service weapon.
According to the initial investigation, on March 4, Felicia Harris went to the apartment where Sims lived. Harris told BCA agents Sims came out of his room with a gun and started shooting at her, striking her at least once.
Just before 2:30 p.m., 911 calls started coming in from people reporting gun shots in the apartment building.
Officers from the Stillwater and Oak Park Heights Police Departments and deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded and started looking for the shooter, later identified as Sims.
When Dowley and the second officer located Sims, there was an exchange of gunfire during which Sims was struck.
Officers provided lifesaving care until Sims was transported to Regions Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.
BCA crime scene personnel recovered a handgun at the scene along with several extended magazines and dozens of 9mm shell casings.
Many of the officers involved were wearing body cameras that captured portions of the incident. Dowley was not wearing his body camera. He was not supposed to start his shift until 3 p.m. that day and had not yet put on his camera.
BCA agents are reviewing all available video as part of the ongoing investigation. It will be available to the public once the case is closed and fully adjudicated.
Forensic scientists are also actively working to determine whether the second officer fired. If it’s determined that he did, the BCA will release his name.
The Stillwater Police Department asked the BCA to investigate this incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.
The BCA Force Investigations Unit is actively investigating this incident.
According to the police, two squad cars were also shot. A gas line was reportedly struck as well.
The apartment complex is in close proximity to a residential area as well as several youth recreational facilities that were at capacity at the time. The rec center reportedly went into lockdown.
Due to the ongoing investigation with the BCA, the police and surrounding areas involved are unable to share more information at this time.
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