Video shows moments before Nassau County deputy is gunned down during traffic stop

New trove of evidence against Patrick McDowell released by State Attorney’s Office

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – The State Attorney’s Office on Wednesday released a series of videos and photos that will be used in the case against Patrick McDowell, the man accused of first-degree murder in the September shooting death of Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joshua Moyers.

Included is dashcam video showing the deadly traffic stop where Moyers was shot twice, along with the bodycam video that shows the tense moments when officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, hot on McDowell’s trail in the hours after Moyers’ death, fired multiple shots into a dark wooded area and hit McDowell twice. Also included is the moment when McDowell is finally captured at a Callahan sports complex following a five-day manhunt.

RELATED: Timeline of events following shooting of Deputy Joshua Moyers, leading to arrest of Patrick McDowell

The scene where Nassau County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Moyers was found dead following a traffic stop. (State Attorney's Office)

Deadly traffic stop

Video recorded early on the morning of Sept. 24 shows Moyers during a traffic stop where a burgundy-colored minivan was pulled over on Sandy Ford Road. Train tracks can be seen in the background.

Moyers can be heard asking the driver where he is heading and he says, “back to Jacksonville.” He then asks for a driver’s license and the driver says he doesn’t have one, adding that he borrowed the car.

Viewer discretion advised. Video below contains redactions from the State Attorney’s Office, but some may still find the content graphic in nature.

Moyers then asks the driver’s name and he replies, “Patrick McDowell.”

After trying to run the tag on the Town and Country van, Moyers then says that he’s not getting anything back.

“Is there any way I can get you to hop out so I can check the van right here,” Moyers says as he taps the back of the van door with his hand.

McDowell gives Moyers permission to look inside and Moyers then reaches for the door handle.

“Do you have any guns or anything crazy in the car, man?” Moyers asks before the lights on the railroad crossing go off and the arms slowly start to come down.

“No,” McDowell replies before a black bar on the video, added by the State Attorney’s Office, covers what happened next.

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said Deputy Moyers was shot twice in that moment — once in the face, once in the back as he fell to the ground.

Video then shows the van, driven by McDowell, speeding away, moving just underneath the descending crossing guards.

Close to capture

Hours after the shooting, law enforcement officers from around Northeast Florida descended on Callahan to search for McDowell.

One of the videos released Wednesday shows bodycam footage of officers searching for McDowell in a dark wooded area.

As officers and K-9 Chaos are walking through the woods, a single shot can be heard followed by a dog yelping in pain.

“F***!” yells one of the officers before other officers with him unload a flurry of gunshots into the darkness.

Viewer discretion advised. Video below contains redactions from the State Attorney’s Office, but some may still find the content graphic in nature. Explicit language in video.

“Keep on him! We are moving right,” the officer yells.

Another shot rings out before the officer calls for K-9 Chaos to come back to his side.

“Chaos, here, here! Come on buddy, you’re doing good buddy! Come on Chaos!” the officer pleads.

Sheriff Leeper said McDowell shot the JSO K-9 with a rifle, but the dog was able to recover from its injuries.

”What they know is, the target is out there. They don’t know where it is,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson. “They’re firing and hoping to hit the target because, one, he just killed a police officer, and two, he just shot at the dog and hit the dog, and three, he has the propensity to kill someone else, if not more than one.”

Despite officers getting close, McDowell was able to escape capture and hide out for another four days, even though he was hit twice.

K-9 grabs onto the arm of Patrick McDowell after he's found hiding out in a sports complex bathroom in Callahan. (State Attorney's Office)

McDowell surrenders

McDowell was eventually found hiding out in a bathroom building at the Kirsten Higginbotham Sports Complex, five days after he allegedly shot Moyers.

Drone video of his arrest, released by the State Attorney’s Office, shows the moment officers were able to surround the bathroom and force McDowell to surrender. He can be seen crawling out on his stomach before a K-9 is unleashed to bite his arm. He is then handcuffed before he’s surrounded by dozens of officers.

“Do they know if he’s still armed? No. They don’t,” Jefferson said.

MORE: Jacksonville woman set up escape plan with Patrick McDowell using Facebook, deputies say

Also included in the evidence released are dozens of crime scene photos and a 911 call from the woman who was with McDowell in the van when he encountered Moyers. She only knows him as Patrick, and tells the dispatcher that “he shot a cop.”

If convicted, McDowell faces a possible death sentence. His next court appearance is set for Jan. 6.

About the Authors:

Award-winning broadcast and multimedia journalist with 20 years experience.