Without compromise, a Florida sheriff advised citizens that if a man suspected of brutally harming one of his sheriff's deputies, who is not expected to survive, attempts to enter their home, they should "blow him out the door because he's like a rabid animal."
Sheriff Bill Leeper of Nassau County pointed to Patrick Rene McDowell, who had military training in the United States Marine Corps from 2005 to 2009, according to the Northeast Florida Fusion Center, an arm of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement department that helps sheriffs' offices. McDowell, 35, shot Deputy Josh Moyers, 29, in the face during a traffic check at 2:30 a.m. on Friday.
According to Leeper, the event was filmed on Moyers' body camera as he approached a Chrysler minivan inhabited by McDowell and his female passenger. McDowell, according to reports, did not possess a valid driver's license and gave Moyers a bogus identity. Moyers returned to his car and conducted a records check before returning to McDowell and inquiring whether he has any weapons and requesting that he vacate the minivan.
According to Leeper, the video shows McDowell shooting Moyers in the face and then shooting him in the back after he went to the ground, before fleeing in the van to nearby woods. Deputies discovered the abandoned vehicle with the woman still inside. Leeper indicated that she is helping with the investigation.
“McDowell, 35, had been sentenced on May 24 to a year and six months on probation on a forgery charge and was under drug-offender probation. The probation was imposed after a Nov. 5, 2018 arrest, Florida Department of Corrections records showed,” The Florida Times-Union reported. “He also has prior arrests on charges of giving a false name to law enforcement and aggravated possession of stolen firearms according to information in an alert from the Northeast Florida Fusion Center.”
Leeper said at news briefing, “Unfortunately, Deputy Moyers is not going to survive. Where the bullets lodged, what it did, there’s just nothing they can do, unfortunately. … We now have a murderer on the loose in our community. This guy is dangerous. If you’re in a home and he breaks into your home and you have a gun, blow him out the door cause he’s like a rabid animal. He will kill you with his mindset. What he did to that deputy, was uncalled for, unnecessary and he needs to pay for it.”
“If we find out anybody has helped him or is going to help him, do not do that,” he added. “If we find out you’ve helped this guy, we’re going to arrest you. We’re going to arrest you. We’re going to arrest you for preventing us from capturing him.“