Practical Analysis and Reconstruction of Shooting Incidents  book cover
2nd Edition

Practical Analysis and Reconstruction of Shooting Incidents

ISBN 9781498707664
Published November 17, 2015 by CRC Press
506 Pages 24 Color & 158 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Practical Analysis and Reconstruction of Shooting Incidents, Second Edition presents a holistic approach to shooting incident analysis and reconstruction, covering the entire spectrum of related sub-disciplines of forensic science. The book reviews basic firearm design and function, ammunition components, and terminology, explaining what constitutes pertinent evidence and appropriate results relative to autopsies, forensic laboratory analysis, and reenactments.

The second edition features numerous additions including:

  • Four new chapters
  • Complete and extensive updates to all 16 original chapters
  • Three case studies contributed by renowned professionals in the field
  • New and revised exercises at the ends of chapters, with answers provided
  • An expanded glossary of terminology
  • Nearly 340 figures and illustrations, with several in full color
  • New and updated references and suggested readings
  • Appendices containing relevant terminology, checklists, and other resources

The book details the mathematics of shooting reconstruction in clear, precise language that allows readers—both those with and without extensive science backgrounds—to apply a logical thought process to the evaluation of shooting scene evidence in order to establish the probable related events to the shooting incident.

This new edition provides up-to-date information for field investigators to recognize, preserve, document, and interpret the physical evidence typically found after shooting incidents. In addition to the hundreds of illustrations, the book uses both case studies and step-by-step outlines to clearly describe the required analytical processes involved in reconstructing and interpreting shooting incident scenes.

Table of Contents

Terminology: Its Use and Abuse—"The Devil Is in the Details"
Ammunition Components
Other Misused Terms
Suggested Reading

Shooting Reconstruction Myth Busters
Bullets and Newton’s Third Law
Bullets and Intermediary Targets
Bullet and Shot Pellet Ricochets
Shotgun Wads, Cups, and Wrappers
Gunshot Residues
Cartridge Case Ejection
Blood Back Spatter from Gunshots
Suggested Reading

Theory and Practice of Shooting Reconstruction
Shooting Reconstruction and the Scientific Method
On-Scene Evidence Evaluation/Documentation
Off-Scene Evaluation and Documentation
Goal of Shooting Reconstruction
Limitations of Shooting Reconstructions
Reenactment in Shooting Reconstructions
Other Body Indicators
Other Scene Indicators
Suggested Reading

Mathematics of Shooting Reconstruction
Trigonometry, Geometry, and Shooting Incident Analysis
Calculation of Impact Angles
Other Calculations

Firearms and Ammunition Components
Firearms Categories and Nomenclature
Special Notes Concerning Firearms
Ammunition Components
Scene Documentation of Weapons

Shooting Reconstruction Equipment and Its Use
Documentation of Bullet Holes at Shooting Scenes
Trajectory Rods and Their Use at Shooting Scenes
Other Equipment Required
Laser Measuring Devices
Total Data Stations
3-D Laser Scanners
Specialized Fixtures for Shooting Reconstruction
Camera Equipment for Shooting Reconstruction

Smart Phone/Pad Apps for Shooting Reconstruction
Plumb Bob App
Compass App
Angle Gauge App
Scientific Calculator App
Level App
Global Positioning System App
Measuring Apps
Flashlight App
Other Useful Specialty Apps
Other Visual Aids

Cartridge Case Ejection Pattern Testing for Semiautomatics
Testing Considerations
Interpretation of Results
References and Further Reading

Shotgun Pattern Testing and Evidence Evaluation
Approximating Muzzle-to-Target Distance
Angle of Impact Estimation
Test Firing
Graphical Analysis
Shot Shell Buffer and Distance Estimation
Reporting of Results

Examination/Testing of Weapons and Ammunition Components
Trace Evidence Examination
Function Testing
Accuracy Determination
Rate of Fire Determination
Suggested Reading

Gunshot Residue Testing
GSR Sources
Persistence of Primer Residue
Primer Residues and Shooter Determination
Muzzle-to-Target Distance Approximation Testing—Inanimate Objects
Collection of GSR from Fixed Inanimate Objects
Muzzle-to-Target Distance Approximation Testing—Human Tissue
"Paraffin" Test
Determination of Time Since Discharge
Case Study
Suggested Reading

Bullet Hole and Wound Characteristics
Bullet Holes in Clothing and Underlying Tissue
Reconciling Bullet Holes in Clothing with Underlying Wounds
Bullet Holes in Glass and Glass Injuries
Bullet Holes in Tires and Other Elastic Materials
Case Study
Suggested Reading

Bullet Ricochet Phenomena
Ricochet Terminology
Conditions Conducive to Ricochets
Directionality Based on Point of Impact
Other Indicators of Directionality
Ricochet Crease Profiles
Direction of Twist Determination from a Ricochet Mark
Establishing Critical Angles
Establishing Ricochet Angles
Establishing Deflection Angles
Establishing Shooter Position
Evidence That a Ricochet Has Occurred
Case Study
Suggested Reading

Bloodstains and Blood Spatter at Shooting Scenes
Blood Characteristics and Drop Formation
Blood Spatter Associated with Firearms Injuries
Blood on/in Weapons
Blood on the Hands of the Shooter
Blood on Objects at the Shooting Scene
Nongunshot Dynamics That Can Mimic High-Velocity Impact Blood Spatter
Blood and Its Use in Time Line Development
Case Study
Locating Latent Bloodstains
Suggested Reading

Officer-Involved Shootings
General Considerations
Unintentional Discharge of Weapons
Suicide by Cop
Case Studies
Why Is the Suspect Shot in the Back?
Suggested Reading

Case Analysis
General Considerations
Shot Accounting
Recognizing Staged/Misrepresented Crime Scenes
Off-Scene Analysis of Crime Scene Data
Homicide versus Suicide Issues
Participant Information to Obtain
Shots Fired into Vehicles
General Case Analysis Examples
Suggested Reading

Internal Ballistics
External Ballistics
Terminal Ballistics
Sound Suppressors
Case Studies
Suggested Reading

Firearm/Ammunition Reference Collections, Databases, and Software
Vehicle Information
Architectural Information
Weather and Meteorological Data
Crime Scene Software

Report Writing, Demonstrative Evidence, and Courtroom Presentation
Report Format
Drawings, Diagrams, and Photographic Images
Full-Scale Reproductions
PowerPoint Presentations
Court Testimony
Trial Presentation and Demonstrative Evidence
Suggested Reading

Maximizing Crime Laboratory Results
Failure to Request Appropriate Analyses
Failure to Provide Pertinent Details
Failure to Collect Appropriate Samples/Controls
Suggested Readings


Appendix A: A Ballistics Fable

Appendix B: Ammunition Component and Related Terminology

Appendix C: Recommended Terminology

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Edward E. Hueske began his career in forensic science with the Fort Worth Police Department Criminalistics Laboratory, progressing into forensic firearms identification and shooting incident reconstruction. Following his retirement from government crime laboratory service, he established Forensic Training & Consulting, LLC, which he continues to operate. He has also taught domestically and abroad, having provided training to a range of agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Turkish National Police, and the Guatemala Attorney General’s Office. He has published more than 40 papers in forensic science and is a distinguished member of several organizations in the field.