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Shooting Incident Reconstruction (CA0013)

Full Description

SHOOTING INCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION
COURSE SYLLABUS

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.”


I. Rationale:
Investigators are frequently faced with the aftermath of shooting incidents, some of which
become controversial. The outcome of these investigations often has far-reaching
consequences. Investigators must effectively and accurately analyze these scenes so facts
surrounding these incidents can be presented.
II. Course Aims and Outcomes:
Aims
This course is designed to provide shooting scene reconstruction methodologies for evaluating
positions and evidentiary relationships between the shooter, the scene, the victim and other
evidence.
Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this course, students will:
? Demonstrate ability to use proper terminology in describing evidence related to
shooting incidents.
? Be familiar the components, construction and function of ammunition.
? Be familiar with the function and cycle of operation of common firearms.
? Demonstrate ability to recognize common tool marks on ammunition
components and their interrelationship to other evidence in the scene.
? Be familiar with gunshot residue and how it may relate to other evidence in the
scene.
? Understand basic physics of projectile motion including effects of gravity,
inertia, reciprocal action, air resistance, and interaction with target surfaces.
? Demonstrate ability to document and analyze the results of bullet impacts to
various target surfaces to include glass, metal, wood, sand, concrete, flesh and
bone.
? Demonstrate ability to document and analyze bullet flight characteristics,
incident angles, and departure angles from various substrates.
? Be familiar with how substrate characteristics affect the ricochet departure
angle.
? Demonstrate ability to identify, test, and document bullet defects and
trajectories in a three-dimensional shooting scene.
? Understand and demonstrate methods for organizing case materials for analysis.
? Demonstrate knowledge of trigonometric functions and principles as they relate
to trajectory analysis.
? Demonstrate ability to determine trajectories from bullet defects through
rodding, trigonometry, and stringing.
? Demonstrate ability to identify different types and characteristics of gunshot
wounds and criteria for determining muzzle distance.
? Understand the application of scientific method as an investigative approach for
resolving shooting incident questions.
? Demonstrate ability to accurately identify and document trajectories through
contoured targets.
III. Format and Procedures:
This comprehensive 5-day (40 hour) course was designed for case officers, investigators,
forensic technicians, crime scene analysts and others involved in shooting incident analysis.
This course is presented through lecture and practical exercises.
Students will work individually and in teams to apply shooting scene reconstruction
methodologies to evaluate positions and evidentiary relationships between the shooter, scene,
victim and other evidence. Teams will make a presentation of their analyses results, for peer
review and instructor evaluation. Students will be evaluated on their participation and a
written exam.
Course includes active shooting demonstrations. Students will conform to firing range safety
procedures, to include wearing proper personal protection during shootings.
Course materials will be available in electronic format. Students are strongly encouraged to
bring Wi-Fi capable or USB equipped devices (laptops or computer tablets).
IV.
Course Requirements:

Investigative experience, including scene processing experience, is preferable. Prior training in
Crime Scene Reconstruction and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis is helpful but not required.
V. Course Outline
1. Introduction:
? Learning Objective: Be familiar with overview and objectives of the course.
Outline
a. Proper uniform terminology
b. Dispelling myths
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c. SIR Class Overview
i. Understanding the evidence and what data should be collected.
ii. Properly collecting and preserving scene data. Documenting location
and trajectories through mapping, rodding, and trigonometry.
iii. Wound dynamics.
iv. Understanding how projectiles in motion interact with other materials.
v. Reconciling data
vi. Practical exercises on key concepts.
2. Firearms and Ammunition
Learning Objectives
? Be familiar with firearm function, nomenclature and cycle of operation.
? Demonstrate ability to recognize common tool marks on projectiles and
cartridge cases, how they are created, and how they may relate to other
evidence in the scene.
? Be familiar with gunshot residue and how it may relate to other evidence in the
scene.
? Demonstrate ability to analyze and document cartridge case and shotshell
components.
Outline
a. Common nomenclature
b. Which firearm function steps create tool marks.
c. Which firearm function steps create other evidence: gasses and associated
evidence, stippling, and effects on cartridge components when fired.
d. Criteria for matching rifling on bullet to firearm.
e. Common laboratory submittals and expectations.
f. Malfunctions and relationship to scene and evidence.
g. Study of ammunition.
i. Common Types of ammunition
ii. Rifle ammunition
iii. Shotshells
iv. Pistol ammunition
v. Types of primers
vi. Secondary projectiles
vii. Types of gunpowder
viii. Calibers
h. Practical Exercise #1: Analyzing Cartridges and Shotshells.
3. Physics of Projectile Motion
Learning Objectives:
? Identify the effects of gravity, inertia, reciprocal action, air resistance, and
intermediate targets on projectile flight.
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Outline
a. Functions of mass and velocity, inertia, acceleration, gravity, and friction.
b. Bullet flight instability.
c. Effect of caliber and mass on projectile motion.
d. Deflections and Ricochets
e. Practical Exercise #2: Evaluate a shooting scene and forensic testing needed.
4. Documenting Bullet Defects
Learning Objectives:
• Demonstrate ability to identify, test, and document bullet defects in a threedimensional
shooting scene.
Outline
a. Testing for Bullet Residue
b. Mapping Defects
c. Photographing Defects and Analysis
d. Practical Exercise #3: Mapping a three-dimensional shooting scene.
5. Case Management
Learning Objective:
? Demonstrate methods for organizing case materials for analysis.
Outline
a. Methods for reviewing evidence.
b. Techniques for organizing evidence.
c. Preparing for analysis.
d. Formal analysis.
e. Shooting reconstruction report.
6. Trajectory Analysis through Rodding
Learning Objective:
? Demonstrate ability to define bullet trajectories through rodding.
Outline
a. Minimum data requirements.
b. Instruments for measuring impact angles.
c. Documenting through charts and photographs.
e. Practical Exercise #4: Defining trajectories using rods.
f. Practical Exercise# 5: Analyzing variations in angle measurements.
7. Trajectory Analysis through Trigonometry
Learning Objectives:
? Demonstrate knowledge of trigonometric functions and principles as they relate to
trajectory analysis.
? Demonstrate ability to use trigonometric functions to calculate trajectories from
bullet defects.
Outline
a. Gamma angle.
b. Use of sin method to calculate approximate trajectory.
c. Pythagorean Theorem.
d. Characteristics of Right Triangles.
e. Practical Exercise #6: Practice Problems in Trigonometry
f. Case study reconstructing scene through trigonometry.
g. Practical Exercise # 7: Evaluate a shooting scene and calculating trajectories
through trigonometry.
h. Comparing calculated impact angle to measured impact angles.
8. Trajectory Analysis Through Stringing
Learning Objective:
• Demonstrate ability to identify trajectories from bullet defects through stringing.
Outline
a. Review stringing technique
b. Practical Exercise # 8: Stringing three-dimensional shooting scene.
9. Wound Dynamics
Learning Objectives:
? Demonstrate ability to identify characteristics of gunshot wounds.
? Identify criteria for determining muzzle distance.
Outline
a. Penetrating and perforating wounds
b. Bullet trajectory and wound path
c. Structural gunshot wound damage.
i. Characteristics of entry gunshot wounds.
ii. Characteristics of internal gunshot wound damage.
iii. Characteristics of exit gunshot wounds.
d. Distance determination for gunshot wounds.
i. Contact wounds
ii. Near contact wounds
iii. Intermediate range gunshot wounds
iv. Distant gunshot wounds
f. Sequencing wounds.
g. Practical Exercise #9: Evaluate gunshot wounds and mechanisms in a multi-victim
scene.
10. Range Demonstrations and Practical Exercises
Learning Objectives:
? Demonstrate ability to identify, document, and analyze bullet defects in various
types of substrates.
? Demonstrate ability to document and analyze bullet defect characteristics, incident
angles, and departure angles from ricochets/deflections from various substrates.
? Be familiar with how substrate characteristics affect the ricochet departure angle.
? Identify physical characteristics of gunshot wounds as they relate to muzzle
distance, angle of impact, and type of firearm and ammunition.
? Identify various forms of gunshot residue and how they relate to muzzle distance.
? Demonstrate ability to identify, document, and analyze bullet defect characteristics
from bullet perforations and deflections in automobile metal and window glass.
? Differentiate between bullet defect characteristics in laminated windshield glass and
in tempered glass.
? Demonstrate ability to use trigonometry to determine approximate incident angle
for a bullet defect resulting from a deflection.
? Demonstrate ability to use trajectories in a scene to corroborate or refute witness
statements.
? Demonstrate techniques for identifying trajectories through three-dimensional
objects.
Outline
a. Practical Exercise #10: Recording gunshot damage to glass
b. Practical Exercise #11: Document and Record Ricochets and Deflections from
various target surfaces.
c. Practical Exercise #12: Document gunshot wound characteristics.
d. Practical Exercise #13: Demonstrate bullet trajectories through vehicles.
e. Practical Exercise # 14A: Evaluate incident involving firearms and other weapons.
f. Practical Exercise # 14B: Evaluate shooting scene with penetrating defects.
g. Practical Exercise # 14C: Evaluate shooting scenes with moving vehicles.
h. Practical Exercise # 14D: Evaluate officer-involved shooting scene.
i. Practical Exercise # 14E: Evaluate armed robbery shooting scene
11. Using– Scientific Method to Reconcile Data
Learning Objectives:
? Understand the application of the scientific method as an investigative approach in
resolving shooting incident questions.
? Be familiar with techniques for auditing and reconciling firearms related evidence
with other evidence.
Outline
a. Reconcile wound path and trajectories
b. Reconcile firearms evidence data
c. Scientific method application to field scenarios
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12. Major Case Analysis
Learning Objectives:
? Demonstrate ability to answer investigative questions based on available evidence
from a shooting scene.
Outline
a. Practical Exercise # 15A: Evaluate officer-involved shooting scene with multiple
causalities.
b. Practical Exercise # 15B: Evaluate officer-involved shooting scene with multiple
causalities.
c. Practical Exercise # 15C: Evaluate officer-involved shooting scene and arrest.
d. Practical Exercise # 15D: Evaluate officer-involved shooting scene and fatality.
e. Practical Exercise # 15E: Evaluate reported drive-by shooting scene.
13. SIR Reports and Court Preparation
Learning Objectives:
? Be familiar with format for SIR reports
? Be familiar with qualifications for expert testimony
Outline
a. Essentials and format for SIR Reports
b. Qualifications for expert testimony
14. Final Exam and Critique

Open Sessions

  • Session Day(s) Times Dates Location Instructor Age Participants
  • March 15-19, 2021 M Tu W Th F 8:00 AM — 5:00 PM 3/15/2021 — 3/19/2021 Pueblo Police Department Gary Graff All Ages 17 / 25 Register

    Registration for this session begins October 15, 2020 and ends March 8, 2021.