Charles Moose, a Black police chief who led the investigation into the 2002 Washington D.C. sniper shootings, has reportedly passed away at age 68. According to the Baltimore Sun, the news was confirmed by his son and wife, who shared on social media that Moose died in his home while watching football.
When Moose became Montgomery County, Maryland’s police chief in 1999, he made history as the second Black person to do so, the Baltimore Sun reported. Before that, he was reportedly the first Black police chief in Portland, Oregon, where he was promoted from a patrol officer to a tenured police official.
While serving on the Portland police department, Moose also obtained his Ph.D. in urban studies and criminology from Portland State University, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Charles Moose, who helmed the Montgomery County Police Department when authorities arrested the DC snipers, has died, according to a department Facebook post. https://t.co/o35nwPCrOv
— CNN (@CNN) November 26, 2021
In Oct. 2002, citizens of Washington D.C. collectively grew anxious and fearful following the onset of the infamous sniper attacks that occurred throughout the city. According to the Baltimore Sun, Moose would later lead a search into the crimes, with the first shooting occurring in Montgomery County, Moose’s jurisdiction located north of D.C.
Moose reportedly worked with the FBI, Secret Service, local police departments, U.S. Marshals Service and other agencies to help bring an end to the sniper attacks. Updating his community about the then-ongoing shootings, he would routinely speak at news briefings and conferences about information related to the investigation.
Following the fatal shooting of ten people in the D.C. area, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were arrested at a Maryland rest stop on Oct. 22 while the pair were sleeping in their car, according to the Baltimore Sun. Dubbed the “D.C. Snipers,” they were later charged with ten murder counts.
Following their arrest, Moose reportedly stated in an address, “We have not given in to the terror. Yes, we’ve all experienced anxiety. But in the end, resiliency has won out.”
Sharing the story behind the investigation and intense manhunt, Moose authored a memoir titled “Three Weeks in October” while continuing to act as a police chief, according to the Baltimore Sun. After allegedly receiving $170,000, Moose appeared before an ethics commission, ultimately deciding that he couldn’t profit from his police work.
After fighting the decision in federal court, he chose to resign from his chief position in June 2003, three months before the release of his book. Continuing a career in law enforcement, Moose reportedly worked with the Honolulu Police Department in the mid-2000s before retiring and settling in Florida.