LIVE UPDATES: Suspect accused of killing Nassau deputy arrested, growing memorial for deputy

CALLAHAN, Fla. — Patrick McDowell, the suspect wanted in the shooting death of Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joshua Moyers, has been apprehended.

Moyers was shot twice during a traffic stop in Callahan on Friday, and later died of his injuries on Sunday.

McDowell, who was considered “armed and dangerous,” is also accused of shooting a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office K9 deputy.

Action News Jax will have live team coverage throughout the day on FOX30 and CBS47.

Sept. 29, 8:57 a.m. update: The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office arrested Breiana Tole, 27, of Jacksonville, on Tuesday, the same day McDowell was captured at a baseball field in Callahan following a 5-day manhunt. She’s accused of helping McDowell evade arrest. Read more here.

Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m. update: Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson answered a few questions regarding the arrest of Patrick McDowell. Specifically, the training that goes into finding a fugitive and the impacts that will be at play for McDowell’s trial.

Sept. 28, 5:30 p.m. update: A memorial for Deputy Moyers is growing outside the Nassau County Police Department on the deputy’s patrol car. Neighbors are paying their respects with flowers and notes and are relieved the manhunt for McDowell has ended.

Sept. 28, 12:25 p.m. update: Patrick McDowell has been apprehended, according to Nassau County Emergency Management.

Sept. 28, 11 a.m. update: Action News Jax is following a pursuit in Callahan as authorities are continuing in the search for Patrick McDowell.

Sept. 27, 11 p.m. update: The Oxley-Herald Funeral Directors announced funeral arrangements for Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers.

His funeral will be held at Callahan First Baptist Church on Saturday, Oct. 2, at noon.

For more details, click here.

RELATED: ‘They are never going to let his name die’: Hundreds honor Deputy Moyers in 50-mile procession

Sept. 27, 4 p.m. update: Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper held a news conference, saying they will not stop looking for Patrick McDowell, even as they mourn the loss of Deputy Moyers.

Also, Richard McDowell, the father of McDowell, released a statement, expressing his condolences to the family of Deputy Moyers.

Sept. 27, 2:33 p.m. update: The Fraternal Order of Police Jacksonville, FL Lodge 5-30 posted an update on its Facebook page on Monday about Chaos, the JSO K9 deputy that was injured in the search for McDowell:

Ok, technically Chaos isn’t a member since we don’t take dues in dog biscuits…BUT he, and the rest of our K9s are...

Posted by Fraternal Order of Police Jacksonville, FL Lodge 5-30 on Monday, September 27, 2021

Sept. 27, 2:04 p.m. update: A procession will be held for Deputy Joshua Moyers on Monday evening. It will go from the medical examiner’s office in downtown Jacksonville, through Callahan and then to Fernandina Beach. Click here for complete details.

Sept. 27, 12:34 p.m. update: The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. in Callahan. Action News Jax will stream it live here when it begins.

Sept. 27, 9:07 a.m. update: The reward for capture of suspect Patrick McDowell has increased to $54,000, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office announced.

Sheriff Bill Leeper has sworn in the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Charlton County, giving them authority to make an arrest.

Sept. 27, 6 a.m. update: There is a heavy police presence in the Sandy Ford Road and U.S. 301 area of Callahan as investigators collect evidence. “You may see about 200 vehicles and deputies in the area. Do not be alarmed,” the sheriff’s office stated. “We don’t know how long this will take,” NCSO added.

The manhunt for Patrick McDowell enters day four.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: For those who would like to help following Moyers’ passing, his family has set up a GoFundMe to provide healing support for his fiancé. The 29-year-old deputy and his fiancé were in the process of planning their wedding.

Sept. 26, 9 p.m. update: The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office sent out the following message to Callahan residents:

“Tomorrow around 6 a.m. there will be a heavy police presence in the Sandy Ford Road at US-301 area of Callahan. You may see about 200 vehicles and deputies in the area. Do not be alarmed. We are collecting evidence. We don’t know how long this will take. Thank you for your patience.”

Sept. 26, 8 p.m. update: Nassau County School Board Superintendent announced schools will be on modified lockdown on Monday, Sept. 27 until further notice due to the ongoing police activity.

Buses will run and absences will be excused.

‼️Monday, 2/27 School Update‼️ Per NCSB Superintendent, CMS will be on modified lock down tomorrow, Monday, 9/27 until...

Posted by Callahan Middle School on Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sept. 26, 3:40 p.m. update: The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office announced that Deputy Joshua Moyers passed away on Sunday.

“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 fiancée in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this terrible tragedy,” said Sheriff Bill Leeper.

Sept. 26, 2:40 p.m. update: A Florida Blue alert has been issued for Patrick McDowell. The alert states: “McDowell is the subject of a Florida Blue Alert because he is suspected of killing a Florida Law Enforcement Officer. If located, DO NOT APPROACH. Contact Law Enforcement immediately.”

The NCSO also shared the reward is now up to $50,500 for information that leads to the arrest of McDowell.

Sept. 26, 11:20 a.m. update: The NCSO shared pictures of McDowell’s tattoos as they continue their search for the alleged deputy shooter. Pictures of his tattoos are below.

Sept. 26, 10 a.m. update: The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office has increased the reward to $35,000 for information that leads to Patrick McDowell’s arrest. The sheriff’s office shared the update thanking a generous donor for the reward money.

>>LINK: What we know about suspect behind shooting of Nassau deputy, JSO K9

Sept. 25, 8 p.m. update: The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Bravo Team shared the following words for Deputy Joshua Moyers:

“Tonight we begin our first operational shift without you. Tonight we put on a brave face and hide the tears; as there is work to be done. Tonight we carry you with us as we continue to search for this animal that took you from us. As this night won’t be easy, we hope to soon bring this nightmare to an end. Rest easy knowing Bravo Team is carrying you with us. We love and miss you Moyers.”

STORY: Father guards his house fully armed as authorities search for gunman who shot Nassau deputy

Sept. 25, 5:40 p.m. update: The award for information that leads to the arrest of Patrick McDowell has increased to $15,000. The sheriff’s office asks that you call 1-866-845-8477. The FSA and FDA are both giving $5,000 each to the person who can help locate McDowell for a total of $25,000.

Sept. 25, 5:30 p.m. update: Deputies continue the search for Patrick McDowell and enlist the help of agencies all over North East Florida.

Sept. 25, 12:00 p.m. update: Nassau Sheriff Bill Leeper said Saturday that deputy Moyers will not survive his injuries from a traffic stop turned murder Friday.

Leeper thanked the medical staff at UF Health and said they did all they could do to save him. Moyers’ family has decided to donate his organs.

The primary search is taking place across a 5-square mile stretch, roughly 3000 acres. Investigators found a couple of items of interest overnight, including a flashlight and what is believed to be the suspect’s hat.

“We now have a murderer on the loose in our community,” Sheriff Leeper warned. “This guy is dangerous. If you’re in a home and he breaks in your home and you have a gun, blow him out the door. He is like a rabid animal. He will kill you.”

The Florida Sheriff Association and First Coast Crimestoppers have both pledged $5K for anyone with information leading to the arrest of Patrick McDowell.

Sept. 25, 8:59 a.m. update: The man wanted in the shooting of Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers is still on the run Saturday morning. Action News Jax has learned SWAT teams are going door-to-door in nearby neighborhoods.

Residents on Sandy Ford Road, Daybreak Drive, and Caleb Court should expect heavy police presence and may receive a knock on their door.

First Coast Crimestoppers is now offering a $5000 reward for anyone with information that leads up to an arrest of Patrick McDowell you can remain Anonymous. If you know anything call 1-866-845- tips

Sept. 24, 9:03 p.m. update: The Bishop Kenny versus West Nassau football game has been canceled.

Sept. 24, 9 p.m. update: The Northbound lanes of U.S. 301 south of Callahan have reopened.

Sept. 24, 5 p.m. update: Sheriff Bill Leeper there is no change in Moyers’ condition -- still critical -- and they are still looking for McDowell.

Leeper also said crews will continue to search for McDowell overnight and the Florida Highway Patrol will block off two-lane northbound lanes of U.S. 301 south of Callahan.

A member of Moyers’ family is flying in at 6 p.m., and Leeper was headed to the hospital to meet with that family member.

Leeper said law enforcement has been telling people to stay inside and be on the lookout.

The area that is being searched in the hunt for McDowell is several acres, a large wooded area with a few homes, hunting areas and several deer stands.

The darker it gets, the more challenging the search, Leeper said, but law enforcement has helicopters, drones and equipment to assist with that.

The woman who was with McDowell during the traffic stop has not been charged with anything, as she has been cooperative with deputies, Leeper said.

Sept 24, 4 p.m. update: A scheduled high school football game between West Nassau and Bishop Kenny has been postponed. School officials say police recommended the game be rescheduled while the search for the shooting suspect continues.

Sept 24, Noon update: Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper held a news conference to share more information regarding the shooting of one of their own. He identified the deputy as 29-year-old Joshua Moyers.

The sheriff said Deputy Moyers was shot twice by the suspect, including once in the back, sometime after midnight during a traffic stop off Sandy Ford Road near railroad tracks.

Sheriff Leeper said something caught the deputy’s attention, which led him to conduct a traffic stop.

The suspect was driving a burgundy Chrysler minivan that was reported stolen out of Jacksonville, according to the sheriff’s office.

After shooting Moyers, the sheriff said McDowell sped off, just missing an oncoming train, and turned onto a dirt road in a wooded area.

The van was later found abandoned.

RELATED: What we know about suspect behind shooting of Nassau deputy, JSO K9

A female, whom was a passenger in the vehicle during the shooting, told the suspect she wanted no part and left to call 911.

She provided the sheriff’s office with suspect information.

Tracking dogs were brought in to search for the suspect. Authorities said McDowell is accused of shooting one of them, a K9 of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The dog was taken to a vet and is expected to be OK.

The deputy, who Leeper described as a “great guy,” was hired with NCSO in 2015. Leeper described Moyers’ condition as “very critical” and said “we’re not sure if he will make it.”

RELATED: Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers: What we know about the Florida deputy shot during a traffic stop

The visibly emotional sheriff asked the community to pray for Moyer’s family, as well as NCSO. Moyers was said to be planning a wedding with his fiancé.

The manhunt continues for McDowell. The sheriff said McDowell is prior military and “does have some issues, obviously.”

See the full news conference from the sheriff below:

Original Story:

A manhunt is underway for a suspect that authorities said shot a Nassau County Sheriff’s Office deputy multiple times during a traffic stop in Callahan early Friday morning.

The deputy was taken to UF Health in Jacksonville and is in life-threatening condition. Action News Jax is working to learn the deputy’s identity.

Authorities shared multiple photos of 35-year-old Patrick Rene McDowell, who NCSO identified as the suspect. He has former military/service training and has been previously arrested, Baker Acted and is known to suffer from depression, seizures and PTSD.

He’s also wanted for shooting a JSO K9.

The vehicle deputies are looking for

The 6-foot man, who is considered armed and dangerous, is believed to be in the area of U.S. 301 and Sandy Ford Road.

Nassau County officials provided information of a vehicle they believe is involved: a 2019 maroon Chrysler with the tag number 88ASGB. That vehicle is not registered to McDowell.

McDowell has a 2000 maroon-colored Dodge with the tag number HVFP06.

The sheriff’s office said a female was in the car with McDowell during the traffic stop and is cooperating with law enforcement.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office previously shared other photos of a man they said was the suspect that were incorrect.)

About the search area in Callahan

Multiple agencies are assisting in the search along U.S. 301, including the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol.

Drones, a helicopter and dogs are also being used in the search for McDowell, but NCSO stressed that they also need the community’s help.

JSO said citizens in the area are asked to check their surveillance cameras, including external hunting types.

If you have seen the suspect or have any information, you’re asked to call the sheriff’s office at 904-548-4000.

How the search is affecting traffic, nearby schools

The intersection of U.S. 301 and Mickler Street, all the way down to Thomas Creek Road and U.S. 301, is closed until further notice.

Residents in the area are being told to stay in their homes as agencies search for the suspect.

The Nassau County School District sent the following message to parents regarding school and bus stops Friday morning:

“Good Morning Callahan Area Nassau County School District families, we are calling to report there was criminal activities in our community early this morning. The Nassau County sheriff’s office continues to search for the suspect along US 301. Due to road closures directed by the Nassau County Sheriff’s office, buses may not be able to retrieve students from some of the local bus stops. If you live in an area where police activity is present, please follow all directions from local law enforcement to keep your students safe. If you are able to keep your child home from school today, the absence will be excused. Also, drop off areas may be delayed this morning. Students arriving to school will start their day on a modified lockdown schedule if directed by local law enforcement. Thank your patience and cooperation, we will continue to update you as necessary.”

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.

Aurielle Eady

Aurielle Eady, Action News Jax

Aurielle Eady is a digital content producer for Action News Jax.

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