Stillwater police have fatally shot a suspect who fired multiple rounds at an apartment complex in Minnesota. Prosecutors have ruled that the use of force by the officers was justified. The suspect, identified as 21-year-old O’Kwan Sims, had fired shots at a woman before engaging in an exchange of gunfire with the police. The officers fired shots at Sims after he pointed his pistol at them. The decision to use deadly force was made to ensure the safety of the officers and the community. FOX 9 reported
STILLWATER, Minn. (FOX 9) – Prosecutors have announced that they will not press charges against two police officers from Stillwater, Minnesota who fatally shot a man at an apartment complex last March. The decision was made after determining that the use of force was justified.
In March, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) stated that Officer Justin Dowley and Sergeant Dan Young shot and killed 21-year-old O’Kwan Sims following an incident at his apartment. According to investigators, a woman had visited Sims’ apartment at Curve Crest Villas on March 4, and he emerged from his room with a gun, firing shots at her. The woman sustained at least one gunshot wound to her knee.
Stillwater police initially reported that several individuals had been injured in the shooting, but the BCA later confirmed only one victim.
Upon responding to the incident, the police began searching for Sims. When Dowley and Young spotted him, an exchange of gunfire ensued, resulting in Sims being shot. He was promptly transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The BCA discovered a handgun and multiple extended magazines at the scene.
A shooter at a Stillwater apartment complex was fatally shot by the police on Saturday, March 4. (FOX 9)
Following a review of the case, the Washington County Attorney’s Office has concluded that the officers acted justifiably.
In their statement, the prosecutors revealed that multiple shots were fired upon the arrival of the officers, including shots that hit the squad car of an Oak Park Heights officer who had entered the apartment complex.
After spotting Sims, the officers pursued him as he ran around a corner of the apartment complex and fired between 20 to 30 rounds. According to the prosecutors, Sims was still in possession of his pistol and eventually pointed it at the officers, prompting them both to fire their weapons.
As for the woman who was shot, the prosecutors stated that she was a friend of Sims’ mother, who also resided in his apartment. The motive behind Sims shooting her remains unclear.
“The decision to use deadly force is never made lightly, and we understand the deep sadness it brings to Mr. Sims’ family,” said Washington County Attorney Kevin Magnuson in a statement. “In this situation, the officers faced a dangerous, complex, and rapidly evolving scenario. They relied on their extensive training and quick response to ensure not only their own safety but also the safety of the community they have sworn to protect.”