Man wanted in murder of Nassau County deputy captured after 5-day manhunt

'He crawled out like a coward,' Sheriff Leeper said
Patrick McDowell
Posted at 3:00 PM, Sep 28, 2021

CALLAHAN, Fla. — The man accused of killing a Sheriff's deputy in northern Florida has been captured after a 5-day manhunt.

Patrick McDowell, 35, is suspected of shooting Deputy Joshua Moyers, 29, with the Nassau County Sheriff's Office on Friday morning after Moyers pulled him over.

A Florida Blue Alert was issued for McDowell on Sunday.

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper confirmed during a news conference Tuesday that McDowell had been taken into custody near Callahan, Florida.

Law enforcement officers located McDowell hiding in the restrooms of a ballpark.

According to Leeper, McDowell called out to SWAT team members that he wanted to give himself up and they gave him that opportunity.

"He came out of the bathrooms. (We) had him get down on the ground and crawl. He crawled like a baby, like the coward he is," Leeper said.

McDowell was attacked by a police dog during the process of surrendering.

"The handcuffs that were put on him were Deputy Moyers'," Leeper said.

"We are in the process of making other arrests," Leeper added. "There were some people who were helping him and we've got one at least in custody. There may be some more, we don't know yet but we'll continue to investigate."

Leeper said McDowell was suffering from two wounds resulting from a gun battle with law enforcement on Friday, where McDowell was hiding in a wooded area and shot a K-9 with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office once the dog discovered him hiding.

Officers returned fire and struck McDowell in his right thigh and another shot grazed the top of his head.

Deputy Moyers died Sunday at UF Health Jacksonville.

"I wish he would have gave us an opportunity to shoot him, but he didn't. He crawled out like a coward and he's in custody and he's going to pay for what he did," Leeper said.