JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has issued a BLUE Alert for a 35-year-old man accused in the fatal shooting of a north Florida sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said via Twitter that Deputy Joshua Moyers, 29, died at a Jacksonville hospital, Sunday afternoon.
“Please keep Josh’s family and fiancé in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this terrible tragedy,” Leeper said.
Meanwhile hundreds of officers were scouring the area trying to find suspect Patrick McDowell, 35, who authorities say shot Moyers in the face and back during a traffic stop early Friday morning in Callahan. They later learned the vehicle was stolen.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office released photos of McDowell’s tattoos on Sunday, including one across his shoulders that reads “Death Before Dishonor.” Authorities also issued a BLUE Alert, similar to an AMBER Alert, hoping to seek information on McDowell’s whereabouts.
McDowell was last seen in the area of US 301 and Sandy Ford Road in Callahan, Sunday. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, white undershirt, camouflage shorts and black shoes. He wears a tattoo on his left shoulder saying “Death Before Dishonor” and a tattoo on his right shoulder that reads “EGA.”
Authorities are warning the public not to approach McDowell, saying he is likely armed and dangerous.
Investigators found a flashlight and a hat they think belong to McDowell. They previously found a gun that they believe was used to shoot a police dog during the search on Friday, The Florida Times-Union reported.
The search for McDowell includes 300 investigators from multiple law enforcement agencies in the state, the newspaper said.
Police organizations including the Fraternal Order of Police and the Florida Sheriff’s Association are offering more than $50,000 for information leading to McDowell’s arrest.
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