The Other McCain

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Manhunt for Florida Cop-Killer

Posted on | September 26, 2021 | Comments Off on Manhunt for Florida Cop-Killer

Patrick Rene McDowell is like a “rabid animal,” according to the Florida sheriff whose deputy was fatally shot by the suspect Friday. The manhunt for McDowell is now in its third day.

“This guy is dangerous,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said Saturday. “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.”

An ex-Marine with a drug habit and a criminal record, McDowell was driving a Chrysler minivan with a female passenger about 2:30 a.m. Friday when he was pulled over by Deputy Josh Moyers. McDowell didn’t have a license and gave the deputy a false name. When Moyers learned that the name didn’t match the vehicle’s owner, he asked McDowell to step out, at which point McDowell shot Moyers in the face with a pistol, then shot him again in the back after the deputy hit the ground. McDowell went into a nearby wooded area, and authorities believe he shot a police dog that was tracking him Friday.

“We never know what’s going to happen when we leave home in the morning,” Sheriff Leeper said Saturday. “This was just a traffic stop and it turned out to be a murder of the deputy.”

Nassau County, on the Georgia border north of Jacksonville, Florida, is largely rural, and authorities believe McDowell is still in the area.

McDowell was active duty in the Marine Corps from 2005 to 2009, and was deployed to Iraq. He was in the Marine Reserves until 2013. For a while after he returned from Iraq, McDowell worked as a security guard in the Jacksonville area, but in recent years turned to drugs and crime:

He has previously been arrested for giving a false name to law enforcement and aggravated possession of stolen firearms, according to Nassau County Sheriff’s Office. McDowell was arrested in April 27, 2021 by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for failure to appear for several charges stemming back to 2019, according to arrest documents. Those charges include possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also arrested in September 2018 by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for driving with a suspended license and attaching a license plate or sticker not assigned. McDowell was arrested in 2019 for forging checks from his grandfather’s account as well. He has a criminal past in Illinois and Indiana too. Charges there range from burglary, to theft, to carrying a handgun without a license and leaving the scene of an accident, as well as driving while intoxicated endangering a person. Some of those charges were reduced or dismissed. . . .
Deputies say Patrick McDowell has previously been [involuntarily committed for psychiatric treatment under the Baker Act] and has been noted to suffer from depression, seizures, and PTSD.

Why was this guy out on the street? Less than six months ago, they had him under arrest in Jacksonville, but turned him loose. Now a deputy is dead, and McDowell is being hunted “like a rabid animal.”



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