The hunt is on for a Georgia man who shot and ultimately killed a sheriff’s deputy early Friday morning in Florida. Deputy Joshua Moyers, 29, was performing a regular traffic stop when the suspect, Patrick McDowell, 35, decided to shoot the deputy and flee the scene.
Moyers pulled over a Chrysler minivan around 2:30 am Friday, about three miles south of Callahan, near Sandy Ford Road. McDowell was accompanied by a female passenger at the time and gave Moyers a fake name.
The deputy returned to his patrol car, scanned the name, and discovered that it didn’t match the minivan. He reapproached the minivan, asked the driver, McDowell, if he had any weapons, and told him to step out of the car.
Instead of complying, McDowell brandished a handgun, immediately shooting Moyers just below his right eye. The officer turned as he fell to the ground; McDowell put one more shot in his back before fleeing the scene.
Another deputy arrived shortly after the suspect fled the scene and found Moyers critically wounded.
A search was immediately conducted, and deputies found the minivan abandoned with the female passenger hiding close by.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said she had been reportedly helpful with the investigation, providing deputies with McDowell’s real name.
Deputy Moyers passed away Sunday from his injuries. His family, including his fiancée, has decided to donate his organs.
Moyers received an ABCD Award for going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty on a narcotics case in 2018.
Leeper thanked the hospital staff, “They’ve done a tremendous job. They’re some of the best of the best, but there was just nothing they could do for Josh.”
The search for McDowell is still on — he is described as 6 feet tall, 170 lbs. with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen in a black t-shirt, camouflage shorts, and black shoes.
Up to $50,000 in rewards are being offered for the apprehension of McDowell. He is a former marine and suffers from depression, seizures, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. He also has a criminal history of lying to police enforcement and aggravated possession of stolen firearms.
“This guy is dangerous. If you’re in a home and he breaks into your home, and you have a gun, blow him out the door cause he’s like a rabid animal,” says Leeper. “He will kill you with his mindset. What he did to that deputy was uncalled for, unnecessary, and he needs to pay for it.”
A GoFundMe has been set up for Moyers’ fiancée. Anyone will information about McDowell’s whereabouts is asked to call First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-TIPS. Tips can be made anonymously.
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