More Than 300 People Are Involved in Manhunt for a Suspect After a Florida Sheriff’s Deputy Was Shot During a Traffic Stop

More than 300 people are hunting for a suspect accused of shooting and killing a Florida sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop.

Nassau County Deputy Josh Moyers was shot twice during a traffic stop in Callahan early Friday morning and died from his injuries Sunday, officials said.

“It is with great sadness that I announce Deputy Josh Moyers has passed away this afternoon,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper posted on Twitter Sunday night. “Please keep Josh’s family and fiancé in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this terrible tragedy.”

In a press conference Saturday, Leeper said Moyers’ family and fiancé made the decision to donate his organs Friday night.

Police told CNN Friday that the deputy had been conducting a traffic stop around 2 a.m. when he was shot. He was transported to a hospital in a life-threatening condition. Nassau County is in northeast Florida and borders Georgia.

The search for the shooting suspect continues in the same five-square mile radius as Friday, which covers over 3,000 acres, Leeper said. “We now have a murderer on the loose in our community,” he added.

Department spokesperson Ashley Spicer said there was a female passenger in the suspect’s vehicle, who was cooperating with police and identified the suspect as Patrick McDowell, 35.

Patrick McDowell
Police in north Florida are searching for Patrick McDowell, 35, shown is this file photo. (Nassau County Sheriff’s Office via CNN)

“She basically told us who he is, because he lied when we pulled them over, it was a stolen vehicle,” said Spicer.

Leeper said the suspect escaped after shooting Moyers. The suspect fired on the deputy after being asked to get out of the car, Leeper said.

“The driver’s arm came out of the vehicle with a handgun and shot the deputy right here,” Leeper said, pointing to his face. When the deputy fell, the suspect “reached out and shot him in the back,” Leeper said.

The suspect was last seen fleeing on foot and is considered dangerous, according to investigators.

A $35,500 reward has been offered to find McDowell, officials said.

The sheriff’s office posted a tribute to Moyers on Twitter Sunday, saying, “Tonight we begin our 1st shift without you.”

“Tonight we put on a brave face and hide the tears; as there is work to be done … 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 & miss you Moyers.”

The-CNN-Wire
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