Charles Moose Says Teachers Were Unsung Heroes

10:24 PM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- Next month, our area will mark a somber anniversary. It's been nearly 10 years since a pair of snipers terrorized our area. Then-Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose became the internationally recognized face of the investigation. 

Today, the former chief is retired, relaxed and living in Tampa, Fla. And like the rest of us, he will never forget those terrifying 22 days of October 2002, including his lowest moment.

"It will always be the shooting of the child on his way to school. I mean that's just such a low, low blow," said a pensive Moose. But there is no doubt in his mind when the random attacks crossed the line.

"I think at least personally, I've done some things maybe I should be shot. Maybe other adults have done some things that they're not proud of. But no 13-year-old has had enough life to do anything to deserve being shot. Shot on his way to school. That was the worst moment ever," he said. 

10 years later, he still squirms when recalling an intense fear that haunted him at the time.

Said Moose, "What if we don't catch 'em? I think that that turned into energy, turned into motivation, but when I look back, I'm just so happy that I'm not that guy!"

After Lee Boyd Malvo and John Muhammed were locked up for their reign of terror, the chief had no contact with either, and opted -not- to witness Muhammed's execution.

"I really didn't have a desire to be at the execution. I think I've seen enough misery and so forth. I've not talked to either one of them, and I don't anticipate I ever will," said Moose.

The chief deflects praise and redirects it to what he considers the area's unsung heroes: school teachers.

"The teachers all knew that the kids needed them. They came to work," he said.

He says during the sniper crisis, area teachers had their highest attendance record ever. Moose says he will never forget that or the lives that were altered forever.

"We may think of it in blocks of time. Five years. 10 years. But the victims, they live with it every day," he said.

As for that little boy shot and wounded in the sniper attacks, Moose says he is 23 years old now, doing fine and says anytime Malvo wants to go 'chest to chest' with him, he's ready.

Written by Andrea McCarren


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