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Who is Patrick McDowell? Man who allegedly shot Nassau cop arrested after 5-day hunt

Patrick McDowell shot 29-year-old Nassau deputy Joshua Moyersin the face and back last week in Callahan, Florida, after he pulled McDowell over
UPDATED SEP 29, 2021
A photo of McDowell was released by the Sheriff’s Office, showing the Marine motto tattooed on his body (Nassau County SO/Twitter)
A photo of McDowell was released by the Sheriff’s Office, showing the Marine motto tattooed on his body (Nassau County SO/Twitter)

UPDATE: After a massive five-day manhunt, authorities nabbed 35-year-old Patrick McDowell, the cop who fatally shot Nassau deputy Joshua Moyers during a traffic stop. Mcdowell was located in a ballpark in Callahan, Florida, on Monday, September 27. He was found hiding in an area near a concession stand and a bathroom.

"I wish he would have given us an opportunity to shoot him. But he didn’t," Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said at a press conference. "He crawled out like a coward. He’s in custody. And he’s going to pay for what he did."When he surrendered, Mcdowell was seen with gunshot wounds with T-shirts tied around them. He was shot many nights ago during an encounter with law enforcement in the woods.

"He got struck in the right thigh and grazed the top of his head. He was injured with a bad wound," Leeper said, “He was trying to reach out to people who could get him help. He knew if he went to the hospital we would find him."

NASSAU, NEW YORK: A blue alert has been issued for Patrick McDowell, a man accused of shooting Nassau deputy Joshua Moyers during a traffic stop. McDowell is now believed to hiding in the woods. McDowell shot 29-year-old Moyers in the face and back last week in Callahan, Florida, after he pulled McDowell over. The vehicle McDowell, 35, was driving, is believed to be stolen.

According to Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leep, doctors were unable to save Deputy Moyers. Medical staff is now trying to find matches for him after his family decided to donate his organs. McDowell is still on the run.

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Who is Patrick McDowell?

A weapons instructor who has worked with McDowell in the past told News 4 Jax that the suspect is a former marine, a "survivalist" who is likely to hide well. “He was a student of mine. He worked for a security company. I did his training and then his annual recertification for about three years. That was about 10 or 12 years ago,” Weapons instructor Del Angelo said. "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."

The Blue alert issued for the suspect says that anyone who sees him must not directly approach him, but should immediately contact law enforcement. Similar to the Amber Alert for missing children, or a Silver Alert for missing senior citizens, the Blue Alert is issued for criminals who seriously injure or kill local, state, or federal law enforcement officers. 

On Sunday, September 26, a photo of the suspect was released by the Sheriff’s Office, showing the Marine motto tattooed on McDowell's body. "We’ve had several people asking about tattoos… these are Patrick McDowell’s tattoos. Thank you for your help and support. Also including another shot of his face to keep that circulating.#findMcDowell," Nassau County SO tweeted, along with the photos.


“I know he was military trained, and he was a very good student, very professional. I didn’t know anything negative about him,” Angelo said. “We just trained him basically for security response and how to use a handgun for self-defense or for protecting an area and he was very accomplished in his use of a handgun.” Angelo added that he hopes McDowell is nabbed soon, before he can hurt anyone else, and said that he is "really shocked and surprised about the events that have unfolded here."

McDowell’s father, Richard, offered his condolences to the deceased’s family. In a statement obtained by WJAX-TV, he said “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," McDowell's father added. "He was accepted into Veterans Treatment Court and was doing very well."