David J. Neal
The manhunt for Patrick McDowell, who the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office says was caught on video firing fatal shots into a deputy during a traffic stop, ended Tuesday afternoon at a park in Callahan.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper told media that the cuffs put on McDowell were those of Deputy Josh Moyers, who died Sunday at the age of 29.
McDowell was caught at the Kirsten Higgenbotham Sports Complex in Callahan. That’s about 6 1/2 miles from the intersection where NCSO says Moyers stopped McDowell around 12:30 a.m. Friday.
Leeper said video showed once Moyers asked McDowell to step out of a stolen minivan, McDowell shot him in the head and the back. The former U.S. Marine eluded law enforcement, but cops believed he remained in the Callahan area.
Tuesday afternoon in the park
Leeper said after personnel from various agencies surrounded the complex’s concession stand and restroom, McDowell called out from the restroom.
“He wanted to give himself up, so we gave him that opportunity,” Leeper said. “He crawled like a baby, like the coward he is.”
Leeper said with SWAT teams surrounding him, McDowell “didn’t fully cooperate” with some commands, so one of the police dogs grabbed him on the arm. McDowell already had a leg wound where he was shot while shooting a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office deputy dog and a head wound, but knew he couldn’t go to a hospital.
Video showed McDowell being wheeled into UF Health Jacksonville Tuesday afternoon after his capture. That’s where Moyers died.
A reporter reminded Leeper Tuesday that he’d advised gun-owning homeowners who encountered McDowell coming into their home to “blow him out the door” and asked if he wished they’d found McDowell dead.
“I’ll just say I wish he would’ve given us the opportunity to shoot him,” Leeper said, “but, he didn’t. He crawled out like a coward. But, he’s in custody. And, he’s going to pay for what he did to Deputy Moyers.”