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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Police Chief Holds News Conference on Maryland Shooting Spree

Aired October 4, 2002 - 06:35   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We want to get the latest now on that Maryland shooting spree. We want to go live to a news conference.
This is Police Chief Charles Moose of Montgomery County in Rockville, Maryland -- let's listen.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

CHIEF CHARLES MOOSE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE: ... over 150 different, credible leads have come in to the tip line. Our investigators are diligently working those, leading us in many different directions.

With regards to the information, we're willing, at this point, and able to say that from a 90-percent accuracy, we're dealing with a high-speed-velocity round from an assault or a hunting-type weapon. We have a handout of a number of possible weapons, what that looks like.

That work has been done by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The firearms technology branch has been working with us all night. We have this information. And again, it is not 100 percent, but 90 percent is very good and very close.

So, we're dealing with someone shooting from a distance, someone using a high-velocity round, 90-percent sure that it is a .223 round from a rifle, a hunting rifle, an assault rifle.

Clearly, at this point, we don't have any information that it is an illegal weapon. There are a number of weapons in the package that you will see that are capable of firing this type of round. But that tells you what we are looking for; it tells you the kind of thing that we feel like we are dealing with.

Again, school is scheduled to start on time. We have a number of patrol officers, state patrol officers, Gaithersburg City, Rockville City. All of these officers are out and visible in the area of high- traffic areas in the areas of our schools. We feel very comfortable that we're going to be able to get the day off to a positive start.

And again, people are continuing to call our tip line -- 240-777- 2600. We're still very open to that information. We're still convinced that people have seen something. We want to talk to them. We want to follow-up.

To repeat, our sympathies still remain with the families. They have been processing their loss overnight. We are still doing a lot of work with them, still uncovering information about our victims, still no information at this time, nothing to lead us to think that our victims are associated. They still all appear to be random victims. They don't appear to be anyone's enemy, don't appear to be involved in anything coordinated, just simply random targets, innocent people, who happened to be in the area and have been unduly harmed.

QUESTION: Have you recovered any bullets yet, Chief?

MOOSE: Again, the information is that we are comfortable saying 90 percent, we're dealing with a high-speed-velocity round from an assault or a hunting rifle.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a white-box truck, do you have a license plate? Or has anyone else come forward to say that they have seen anything different than a white-box truck leaving the scene of that fourth shooting?

MOOSE: The white-box truck remains a vehicle of interest. We're still concerned about that, still taking tips, still following up on that. We don't have a plate. We don't feel at this point that we have contacted that vehicle. We have contacted, obviously, a lot of them, but we still feel like the one we're looking for is still out there.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that you are now dealing with what you think is a sniper. One of the first things that law enforcement do is they do some kind of profiling of what they might be dealing with. Have you done that? And what do you think you know about this individual?

MOOSE: Again, we're not speculating on what we know about this individual. Again, all of that is just speculation. We're trying to deal in facts. We're trying to deal in real information. This is not a game that you just want to play and guess and move around. This is serious, and at this point, we're not doing that type of speculation. It is inappropriate.

At this point, we will return at 8:00 with information, any update. And again, we appreciate your assistance in getting the information out, continuing to talk about our tip line, continuing to talk about the fact that we need people to be aware of anything that looks out of place. And please encourage people to go about their day and have a safe day.

COSTELLO: And you just heard from Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose, telling people what he knows right now about this terrible shooting spree in suburban Washington.

Around Rockville, Maryland, five people all apparently unrelated, random victims, were shot dead by the same gun, according to the chief. It was a high-powered assault hunting-type weapon with a .223 round, and they're asking people for information. And they're still looking for some kind of white vehicle, but they don't have a very good description on that.

As you heard him say, he's going to have an update at 8:00 Eastern Time this morning, and of course, CNN will be covering that.

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