ROCKVILLE, Md. – The police chief in charge of hunting down the Washington, D.C.-area sniper blasted the media Wednesday morning for going to press with information that may harm the investigation.
Montgomery County, Md., Police Chief Charles Moose refused to comment Wednesday on news reports by The Washington Post and Washington's Channel 9 that a Tarot card symbolizing death was found near one of the shooting scenes. He said no information about any card has been authorized by his department for release.
"We will have a vote and if it is decided that Channel 9 is going to solve this case, then so be it," Moose said sarcastically.
Sniper killings in the D.C. area within the past week have left six people dead and two injured and have frozen the communities with fear. Police have no eyewitnesses or a suspect in the shootings.
In angry comments to reporters Wednesday, Moose said leaks could compromise the investigation. He said the media shouldn't be the ones trying to solve this case.
"I would hope that everyone would have the same attitude, that they would not want to be the conduit" of bad or misleading information that could harm the case's progress, Moose said.
He said that calling the suspect names and telling people in the community about possible profiles of the killer could lead to people having "closed minds" about who the real suspect may be.
Moose also criticized what he called "talking heads," an apparent reference to former police officials and others acting as media consultants.
He suggested such consultants might have been "unsuccessful" during their police careers and just want to promote themselves. He urged them to stop giving interviews and "ranting and raving."
"We've got retired police chiefs out there looking to get their face on TV," Moose said. "How sad -- we have to make some choices in America."
"If they are naming names so they can have the pleasure of being on TV, it is so sad. I feel so sorry for them but I also plead with them to stop."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.