NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers, who died from his injuries after he was shot early Friday morning, was escorted Monday evening to the Oxley Heard Funeral Home in Fernandina Beach.
The procession began at the Duval County Medical Examiner’s Office, traveled along 8th Street to Myrtle Avenue, turned left on U.S. Highway 1 toward Callahan, right onto State Road 200 into Fernandina Beach, left onto Atlantic Avenue and ended at the funeral home. The route was approximately 50 miles.
Hundreds of people lined the streets along the route that stretched from Duval to Nassau County.
People stood with their hands over their hearts, some held signs and others waved American flags.
Just after 8 p.m., the procession arrived at the funeral home. As the procession made its way down Atlantic Avenue, the crowd was silent.
Moyers, 29, died after he was shot twice during the Friday traffic stop. The man suspected of shooting him, deputies said, was still on the run as of Monday night.
“Deputy Moyers was such a big part of this community and he had such an impact on our community and you can see that. You can see the love,” said Darron Ayscue, Fire Union president.
Claudette Drummond, who lives in Fernandina Beach, was there for the procession. She said the feeling was familiar.
“I know how it felt for me when the community came together for my grandson,” Drummond said.
Her grandson, Nassau County Deputy Eric Oliver, was killed in the line of duty five years ago. She said the community came out to support her grandson -- just like they did Moyers.
“You don’t realize until you’re going through difficult times like this what the support of the community does for you,” Drummond said.
Merkel King, a retired master sergeant, said she came out to honor Moyers and everyone who serves in law enforcement.
“They’re never alone, so we stand tall with them,” King said. “It’s hurtful, but we still show up for each other.”
On Monday, hundreds of law enforcement officers were searching an area of Callahan as a statewide Blue Alert was issued for Patrick McDowell, 35, who is the former Marine deputies suspect shot Moyers. A former colleague described McDowell as a “survivalist” capable of surviving on his own in the woods.
Police organizations including the Fraternal Order of Police and the Florida Sheriff’s Association are contributing to a reward, now up to $54,000 for information leading to McDowell’s arrest.