Patrick McDowell is a Florida man and former Marine who is accused of fatally shooting Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers during a traffic stop. McDowell was arrested five days after the Friday, September 24, 2021 shooting. The 29-year-old Moyers died on Sunday. McDowell is also accused of shooting a police K-9 while fleeing. The dog survived and is recovering after being treated by a veterinarian.
The 35-year-old McDowell is a survivalist and former security guard who competed in shooting competitions. A weapons specialist and instructor, Del Angelo, who trained McDowell during his private security days told News4Jax, “He’s very much a survivalist and he’s been military trained on survival and weapons use. So he’s very accomplished at survival and being unrecognized. He can’t change his appearance but he can sure hide well and know how to stay out of people’s line of sight.”
McDowell was arrested while hiding in a bathroom at the Kirsten Higginbotham Sports Complex in Nassau County, Florida, on September 28, 2021, the sheriff’s office said.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that McDowell is wanted in the shooting of Moyers in Callahan, Florida. Sheriff Bill Leeper said in a statement, “It is with great sadness that I announce Deputy Josh Moyers has passed away this afternoon, September 26, 2021 at 2:19 PM at UF health in Jacksonville. Please keep Josh’s family and fiancé in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this terrible tragedy.”
Florida authorities issued a “Blue Alert” for McDowell and a reward of $54,000 was offered for information leading to McDowell, the sheriff’s office said.
Here’s what you need to know about Patrick McDowell and the killing of Deputy Joshua Moyers:
1. Patrick McDowell Was Stopped by Deputy Joshua Moyers While Driving a Stolen Minivan, Authorities Say
Deputy Joshua Moyers stopped Patrick McDowell in a stolen Chrysler minivan on Friday, September 24, 2021, about 2:30 a.m. on Sandy Ford Road near Micker Street in the Callahan area of U.S. 301, the sheriff said at a press conference. According to the sheriff, a female passenger was in the stolen van with McDowell. Leeper said McDowell gave Moyers a fake name and didn’t have a driver’s license. According to Leeper, when Moyers learned he had been given a fake name he asked McDowell if he had any weapons and told him to get out of the vehicle.
McDowell then shot Moyers under his right eye and in the back, Leeper said. The shooting happened as a train was approaching a railroad crossing near where the traffic stop occurred. Leeper said McDowell then fled from the scene, driving over the crossing just before the railroad crossing arm came down.
Moyers was found suffering from gunshot wounds by a second deputy and was rushed to a hospital, where he died two days later, Leeper said. The stolen van was found in a nearby wooded area, Leeper said. The woman who was in the van with McDowell was with the vehicle and cooperated with deputies at the scene and with investigators, according to Leeper.
2. Sheriff Leeper Called Patrick McDowell a ‘Rabid Animal’ & Told Residents to ‘Blow Him Out the Door’ if He Tried to Break Into Their Home
At a press conference, Leeper said about McDowell, “If you’re in a home, and he breaks in your home and you have a gun, blow him out the door. Because he’s like a rabid animal. He will kill you.” Leeper added, “What he did to that deputy was uncalled for and was unnecessary and he needs to pay for it.”
McDowell is described as a 6-foot-1 white man weighing 180 pounds with balding brown hair, blue eyes and wide earring holes in his ears, the sheriff’s office said. He has a tattoo on his back, running across his shoulders reading “Death Before Dishonor” and one on his right arm saying “EGA.”
He was wearing camouflage shorts, a black shirt, a white undershirt and black tennis shoes when he was last seen, police said. He also has a tattoo of the U.S. Marine Corps Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem with the name McDowell written in Arabic below it, a photo released by the sheriff’s office shows.
3. McDowell Served in the Marine Corps From 2005 to 2009 & Has Past Arrests Along With a History of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Seizures & Was Committed for Psychiatric Help
Patrick Rene McDowell, originally from Jacksonville, Florida, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005 to 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile. McDowell said on LinkedIn he worked as a team lead and account manager for Signal 88 Security from 2012 to 2015 and was an account manager for AlliedBarton Security Services in 2013. McDowell also worked as a security contractor for Triple Canopy in Iraq from 2010 to 2011, he said on LinkedIn. McDowell studied psychology at the University of Phoenix from 2013 to 2015, his LinkedIn page states.
According to the Florida Times-Union, McDowell had a history of depression, seizures and PTSD and was previously committed for a psychiatric examination and treatment under Florida’s Baker Act. He also has a history of arrests in Florida and Georgia.
McDowell was sentenced on May 24, 201, to a year and six months probation stemming from a November 2018 arrest on a forgery charge and was on drug-offender probation, according to the Times-Union. He was also previously charged with giving a false name to law enforcement and aggravated possession of stolen firearms, the newspaper reports.
4. McDowell’s Father Gave His ‘Deepest Regrets’ to Moyers’ Family & Friends & Said His Son’s Treatment Was Hindered by COVID-19 & He ‘Slipped Back Into His Old Habits’
McDowell’s father, Richard McDowell, issued a statement to News4Jax, saying, “I would like to express my deepest regrets to the family and friends of Deputy Moyers. I know that’s small consolation given what a good and decent man he was. If I could change what happened, or trade places with him I would.” Richard McDowell added in the statement:
I want to explain a few things about Patrick but please don’t think I’m making excuses for him or trying to rationalize his actions. After Patrick returned from Iraq he enrolled and sought help from the VA for depression, headaches, and nightmares. He was diagnosed with PTSD and depression and some physical infirmities. At first, he was motivated to deal with his demons and started a family. As time progressed, he slipped into a darker place. He had trouble with seizures, pain management, and sleep patterns. He turned to drugs and quit going to his VA appointments. He started stealing to support his habit and was arrested. He was accepted into Veterans Treatment Court and was doing very well. Judge Floyd and David were very engaged with him as were the Lovings at 5 Star.
When the Covid lockdowns began, the court had to go to virtual sessions which meant less supervision for the mentees. Apparently, this happened at a critical time in his treatment, and he immediately slipped back into his old habits and was arrested in Ga. He was in the Ga jail for a year (and still hasn’t had a trial because of Covid). After a year he came back to Jacksonville and was again generously accepted by the Lovings at 5 Star. You could see the spark had gone out of him and despite our many efforts he slipped over the edge and did this horrible thing.
Richard McDowell added in the statement, “I had resigned myself to the fact that he might overdose or take his own life. I never dreamed he would take someone else’s life. There are no excuses for what he did, and he will get what he deserves, one way or another. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and plead for his life; he was well aware of the consequences. If someone had done that to him, I would be enraged, so I understand the hate and vitriol directed at him. Just know that he wasn’t always like this. He is my son and I love him. My heart breaks for Deputy Moyers’ family. I hope, at some point, they can find some peace.”
5. Deputy Josh Moyers, Who Is Survived by His Fiancee, Parents & Brother, Had Worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 6 Years
Deputy Josh Moyers is survived by his fiancee, parents and brother, the sheriff’s office said. He began working in Nassau County in 2015. Leeper called Moyers a “great guy” at a press conference before Moyers died. He was recently engaged to be married and was planning his wedding with his fiancee, the sheriff said.
According to the sheriff’s office, Moyers graduated from Hilliard Middle-Senior High School in Hilliard, Florida, in 2010 and was also studied at St. Johns River State College. He spent two years as an explorer before being hired as a deputy and was given an award in 2018 for his actions going above and beyond the call of duty in a narcotics case, the sheriff’s office said.
Lali Moyers wrote on a GoFundMe set up to help raise money for their family, “Please help me send support to Ivy, as she faces her future without the love of her life, fiancé and Hero, Deputy Joshua Moyers; Tragically killed in the line of duty serving and protecting Nassau County.”
READ NEXT: TikTok Star Dead in Car Crash