Risk Communication, Psychological Management, and Disaster Preparedness



The DC sniper attacks by John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo terrorized the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area for three weeks in October 2002. Armed with a Bushmaster XM-15 semiautomatic.223 caliber rifle, the pair claimed ten victims with an additional three injured. Muhammad and Malvo used a specially outfitted Chevrolet Caprice to carry out the attacks and elude the authorities. The car was modified so that a person could shoot from the trunk without the trunk door ever being open. In 2004, a jury handed down a death sentence to Muhammad and multiple life imprisonment sentences without the possibility of parole for Malvo’s role in the shootings. Law enforcement officials have been praised for their identification and arrest of the DC snipers, but investigations have shown numerous areas where better communication practices could have ended the shooting spree sooner.


West Nile Virus Risk Communication Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Preparedness 
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© John B. Noftsinger, Jr., Kenneth F. Newbold, Jr., and Jack K. Wheeler 2007

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