Prosecutors: No charges against Stillwater officers for fatal police-involved shooting in March

The Washington County Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that no charges would be filed against officers who shot and killed a man in a deadly officer-involved shooting this past March in Stillwater.

According to a news release, prosecutors determined the deadly use of force by the officers involved was justified.

The news release notes the county attorney’s office came to this decision after reviewing over 2,000 pages of reports, as well as dozens of photos and hours of audio and video from that day.

On March 4, 2023, police responded to a call of a disturbance at an apartment in the 2200 block of West Orleans Street. The call quickly turned into a report of gunshots being discharged within the building.

The first officer who arrived at the scene reported hearing “popping noises” and determined that shots were being fired at their vehicle. When additional officers arrived, they located the gunman, later identified as 21-year-old O’Kwan Rahmier Sims of Stillwater.

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When police prepared to retrieve a rifle and ballistic shield from one squad car, they heard additional gunshots. They then located Sims around a corner pointing a pistol at officers, according to the Washington County Attorney’s Office.

Two Stillwater police officers, later identified as Officer Justin Dowley and Sergeant Dan Young, both opened fire on Sims. Sims was struck three times and died as a result of his injuries.

Police later learned Sims lived inside an apartment with a relative and shot a friend of the relative “in the knee for no apparent reason” before he began firing shots both inside and outside of the apartment complex.

“The decision to use deadly force is never taken lightly, and we recognize the profound sorrow it brings to the family of Mr. Sims,” Washington County Attorney Kevin Magnuson said in a statement. “In this situation, these officers faced a dangerous, complex, and rapidly evolving scenario. They relied on their extensive training and quick reaction to ensure not only their own safety, but the safety of the community they have sworn to protect.”