What we know about Patrick McDowell, the suspect in Nassau Deputy Joshua Moyers' death

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Secured using the late Deputy Joshua Moyers' own handcuffs, suspect Patrick McDowell is loaded into a rescue unit Sept. 28 in Callahan after his arrest.
Secured using the late Deputy Joshua Moyers' own handcuffs, suspect Patrick McDowell is loaded into a rescue unit Sept. 28 in Callahan after his arrest.

Patrick Rene McDowell was arrested Tuesday, five days after the killing of Nassau County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Moyers during an early morning traffic stop on Sandy Ford Road.

The driver shot the deputy in the face and back when he was asked to get out of the vehicle, according to the Sheriff's Office. Detectives named McDowell as the suspect.

Here's what we know so far about the 35-year-old McDowell, identified by the sheriff as the shooter, and the case against him.

Services announced: Slain Nassau County deputy's funeral set for Saturday in Callahan

Who is Patrick McDowell?

McDowell is from Harrisburg, Ill., but he was living in Jacksonville since at least 2011, according to his Facebook page and to court records. His father said he recently started a family. It's unclear if he was employed but he did work at Affordable Fence at least in 2019, according to an arrest document.

"Hearts are broken": Florida community mourns Joshua Moyers as search continues for Nassau County deputy's killer

Was Patrick McDowell in the military?

McDowell served in Iraq for the U.S. Marine Corps. His father said he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and suffered from depression and some physical infirmities.

McDowell
McDowell

Did Patrick McDowell have previous arrests?

Duval County records show his most recent arrest was April 27 on charges of failure to appear in court on felony offenses.

Those offenses were from April 1, 2019, when he was charged with possession of cocaine and possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia and had a 2018 warrant for uttering counterfeit/forged checks of his grandfather. He was transferred to Veterans Treatment Court and the drug charges were eventually not prosecuted, but he pleaded guilty to the uttering count on May 24 of this year and was sentenced to drug-offender probation for 18 months.

Nassau County court records do not show any arrests for McDowell.

What's next for Patrick McDowell?

The Nassau County grand jury indicted McDowell on a charge of first-degree murder charge, which allows prosecutors to decide whether to pursue the death penalty. On Oct. 8 the State Attorney's Office announced it's intention to do so. McDowell also is charged with injuring a police dog and eight counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Did anyone help Patrick McDowell evade arrest?

Breiana Elizabeth Tole, 27, of Jacksonville was charged the day of McDowell's arrest with accessory after the fact. Her arrest report says McDowell contacted her through social media that was being monitored by investigators and provided a location and time for her to try to help him. But when she arrived in the area, she noticed authorities nearby who soon stopped her. McDowell had expressed to her that he was in pretty bad shape and was either going to die out there or by police. "I need u more now than I've ever need another living soul," he messaged.

How was Nassau County deputy Joshua Moyers shot?

Moyers
Moyers

Sheriff Bill Leeper said Moyers was on a minor call about 11:45 p.m. Sept. 23 when he noticed something that prompted him to pull over McDowell and a female passenger. The deputy, whose vehicle had dashcam, radioed in a false name he was provided and told the driver it didn’t match. When Moyers placed his hand on the door handle and asked the driver to get out of the vehicle, he was shot, Leeper said.

The driver sped away, but he and the woman got out and hid under a shed. But she was allowed to leave when she told the man she wanted no part of what was happening, she later told deputies.

McDowell also is accused of wounding a K-9 during the immediate search and also was wounded himself when an officer fired during the pursuit.

What happened to Deputy Joshua Moyers: Suspect at-large following shooting of Nassau County deputy during traffic stop

How did they catch Patrick McDowell?

McDowell was caught hiding in a Callahan Little League concession stand off River Road next to Callahan Intermediate School in a heavily wooded area. He was wearing a youth's soccer shirt and shorts likely that investigators said he probably found there.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement had issued a statewide Blue Alert for McDowell, warning anyone who spots him to stay away and call 911 or the Nassau County Sheriff's Office

Arrested: Suspect in the shooting death of Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers caught near Callahan

What is a Blue Alert?

The Florida Blue Alert -- a message pushed out to phones across the state -- notifies the public of critical information when a law enforcement officer is killed, seriously hurt or missing and the suspect is still at large, according to its website. It was established by the Florida legislature in 2011.

Blue alerts were established nationwide by President Barack Obama in 2015.

What is a Blue Alert?:Notification sounds off on Florida phones after Nassau deputy shot

Where is Callahan?

Callahan is a small town in Nassau County, next to Duval County, about 20 minutes from downtown Jacksonville and about 18 miles from the Georgia state line. Moyers was shot about three miles south of Callahan, the sheriff said.

How can I help Deputy Joshua Moyers' family?

Family member Lali Moyers set up a GoFundMe page on Sunday to "help me send support to Ivy, as she faces her future without the love of her life, fiancé and Hero." As of Friday morning, it has raised nearly $45, 000 of the $50,000 goal..

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Nassau Deputy Joshua Moyers: What we know about the suspect in his killing

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