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What we know about Patrick Dowdell, gunman at Fayette Co. magistrate's office

Patrick Shaun Dowdell opened fire Wednesday on a woman outside a Fayette County magistrate’s office before following her inside, injuring her and three others, before police fatally shot him, state police said.

Here’s what we know right now about Dowdell:

  • Dowdell was scheduled for a 1 p.m. hearing before District Judge Daniel Shimshock on charges from an August incident in which he was accused of strangling a woman with a belt. Those charges included aggravated assault, terroristic threats, strangulation, simple assault and harassment.


  • A protection from abuse order had been filed against Dowdell in relation to the case for which he was appearing Wednesday, Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower said.
  • Dowdell was armed with a handgun, officials said. One witness said he fired six to eight shots inside the magistrate's office after following a fleeing woman inside.
  • Dowdell shot four people, including Masontown police Sgt. R. Scott Miller, state police said. All four victims are expected to be OK.
  • Responding police officers fired several shots at Dowdell, officials said. An unidentified German Township police officer fired the shot that killed him.