2021 | Police & Fire

Moose, Montgomery County’s police chief during 2002 sniper shootings, has died

Ten people were killed, three injured during terror wave

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Former Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose

From Montgomery County police

Charles Moose, Montgomery County’s police chief during a harrowing wave of terror attacks by a two-person sniper team nearly 20 years ago, has died.

Moose, 68, was the police chief in Montgomery County from 1999 to 2003.

“We are extremely saddened by the news announcing the passing of former Chief Charles Moose,” the current chief, Marcus Jones, said in a statement the department posted on Facebook. “He was a great leader and led our department through the DC Sniper investigation, one of the most difficult crime sprees in our country’s history. We send condolences to his wife Sandy and all of his family and friends.”

Montgomery County police said Moose’s wife reported that he died at his home on Thanksgiving.

 

The metro D.C. region lived in fear in October 2002 amid shootings in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Ten people were killed and three others were injured while doing everyday activities such as pumping gas or leaving a store.

As the killers left messages behind, Moose would give public responses during his frequent public press briefings.

John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were convicted of the shootings, which were done through the trunk of a car.

Moose wrote a book called “Three Weeks in October” about the crimes.

In a statement Friday, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said: “For 23 days, Chief Moose provided a calming presence in the midst of the terror and fear that consumed our County and the Washington Region and was nationally recognized for his efforts.

“We are forever grateful for his contributions to public safety during his tenure, and our thoughts are with his wife, Sandy Moose, along with his family and friends. I urge the residents of Montgomery County to remember and appreciate Chief Moose’s leadership and service.”

Moose came to Montgomery County from Portland, Ore., where he had been police chief from 1993 to 1999.

After leaving Montgomery County police, Moose went to work for the police department in Honolulu as an officer.