BCA identifies man shot, killed by Stillwater, Minnesota, police

Okwan Rahmier Sims, 21, of Stillwater, died of multiple gunshot wounds Saturday in Stillwater.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating an officer-involved shooting at the Curve Crest Villas apartment complex in Stillwater on Saturday, March 4, 2023.
Kristi Belcamino / St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL -- Authorities have identified the man fatally shot by police at a Stillwater apartment complex Saturday.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office said Okwan Rahmier Sims, 21, of Stillwater, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension also identified one of the two officers involved in the incident as Officer Justin Dowley, who fired his service rifle. Dowley, who has worked in law enforcement for seven years, joined the Stillwater Police Department in 2019. He is on standard administrative leave.

The second officer also is on leave. “It was unclear at this time whether he fired his service weapon,” a press release from the BCA states.

According to the BCA, a woman named Felicia Harris went to the apartment where Sims lived in the Curve Crest Villas apartment complex at 2225 Orleans St. 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, according to the BCA.


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 could be taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead,” the press release states.

BCA investigators 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, but Dowley was not wearing his body camera, according to the BCA. “He was not supposed to start his shift until 3 p.m. that day and had not yet put on his camera,” the release states.

BCA agents are reviewing “all available video as part of the ongoing investigation” and said it will be “available to the public once the case is closed and fully adjudicated,” the release states.

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 release states.

Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.


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