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Former Marine Allegedly Kills Deputy, Manhunt Underway Amid Fears His Training Gives Him an Edge

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A Florida deputy died Sunday, two days after he was shot during a traffic stop.

In response to the death of Deputy Joshua Moyers, 29, a Blue Alert has been issued in Florida’s Nassau County for Patrick McDowell, a former Marine suspected of shooting Moyers during a traffic stop early Friday morning just north of Jacksonville, according to WBFS-TV.

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said doctors tried to save Moyers, who was shot in the face and back, but “there was just nothing they could do for Josh.” On Saturday, Leeper said Moyers would not survive, but was being kept alive until his organs could be donated.

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McDowell, 35, has been on the run ever since. Some say finding McDowell could result in even more death.

“I know he was military trained, and he was a very good student, very professional. I didn’t know anything negative about him,” weapons instructor Del Angelo, who trained McDowell as a security guard, told WJXT-TV.

“We just trained him basically for security response and how to use a handgun for self-defense or for protecting an area and he was very accomplished in his use of a handgun.”

Angelo said he thinks McDowell will make it in the woods.

“He’s very much a survivalist and he’s been military trained on survival and weapons use. So he’s very accomplished at survival and being unrecognized,” he said. “He can’t change his appearance but he can sure hide well and know how to stay out of people’s line of sight.”

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According to WJXT, McCowell served in the Marines from 2005 to 2009, deploying twice as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 2009 to 2013, WJXT reported.

Marine veteran Dallas Harpe, a Nassau County resident, said the hunt for McDowell might take some time.

“A man could survive in the woods with the training that he’s got up to 30 days or so,” said Harpe, a small arms and rifle instructor, according to WJXT-TV.

“The most important part of the basic training that would be helping him is when you’re going through infantry training, you’re taught to camouflage yourself, blend in with your surroundings. You’re taught discipline where you can remain absolutely still no matter what’s going on around you and the ability to move quietly through the woods,” said Harpe.

“It looks like there’s a lot of wetlands, so a man could slip through where it’s wet and his scent would be lost to the dogs and that would help him hide. If he walks through water, they’ll lose the scent,” he said.

Police are using heat-seeking technology, helicopters and drones in the hunt.

The technology could defeat training, Harpe said.

“You could have all the training in the world, but you can’t hide your body heat from heat sensors unless you have special material, and I doubt that he has because of the way that he entered the woods,” said Harpe.

A flashlight and a hat believed to belong to McDowell have been found, WJXT reported.

Police organizations are offering more than $50,000 for information the leads to McDowell’s arrest, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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