Since our inception in 1847, the Woburn Police Department had been fortunate in that no officer had been killed in the line of duty. That long run of good fortune ended on 26 December 2010 around 9pm.
Officer John B. “Jack” Maguire, a veteran officer of 34 years service, was shot and killed.
During the height of a blizzard, a career criminal with a long and violent record went into a department store to rob the jewelry counter at gunpoint. The man held a gun to several clerks and forced them to open a safe. The robber took a large amount of jewelry and then fled outside into the snowstorm. Several witnesses and store employees called 9-1-1 and Officer Maguire, another officer and a patrol sergeant were dispatched. The three police officers had just cleared from another call in the area, and each was close to the department store. The first officer on scene saw the man fleeing, radioed for assistance and chased the gunman on foot.
Officer Maguire, seeing the direction of the foot pursuit, drove his cruiser to a location to prevent the escape of the gunman into a residential area. Officer Maguire got out of his cruiser on Washington Street. Shots were exchanged and Officer Maguire was struck with several shots. His shots struck and killed the gunman. Officer Maguire was attended to by the patrol sergeant and the Woburn and Reading Fire Departments before being transported to a local trauma center. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward. The lookout for the gunman and the driver of the getaway car were arrested in the area.
Officer Maguire was appointed to the Woburn Police Department on June 26, 1977. He was sworn in by his father, Police Chief Thomas Maguire, and wore Badge 23 which had been his father’s badge number.
Officer Maguire had celebrated his 60th birthday three days before his death, and had given notice of his intention to retire in October 2011.
Officer Maguire is survived by his wife and three adult children.
On Friday November 18th, 2011 Officer Maguire was awarded the George L Hanna Award for Bravery, at a ceremony at the State House. Desiree Maguire, Jack's wife, accepted the award.
On Sunday April 30th, 2012 a ceremony was held at the Woburn Memorial High School auditorium officially naming the United States Postal Facility at 462 Washington Street (directly across the street from where Officer Maguire was killed) as the "Officer John Maguire Post Office".