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North Florida sheriff’s deputy shot during traffic stop

September 24, 2021 GMT

CALLAHAN, Fla. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy was in critical condition early Friday following a shooting during a traffic stop in north Florida, officials said.

The shooting happened shortly after 2:30 a.m. Friday in Callahan, which is northwest of Jacksonville on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office said.

Officials are searching for Patrick McDowell, 35, who has been named a suspect in the shooting, the sheriff’s office said.

“If you see him, please call police immediately. We would like to find him” Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Ashley Spicer told news outlets. ”... Our deputy was shot a couple of times by this man and we just need to find him.”

WJXT reported that a second person in the vehicle is cooperating with authorities.

The area around U.S. 301 where the shooting occurred has been shut down during an investigation, officials said. The Nassau County school district notified families that school buses might not be able to pick up students in some locations due to the heavy police presence during the investigation. If children can’t make it to school, the district said their absence would be excused.

No details about the traffic stop or what led to the shooting have been released. The name of the deputy has not been released.