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An Analysis of the Characteristics of Thoracic and Abdominal Injuries Due to Gunshot Homicides in Israel

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De‐identified wound data from 197 homicidal gunshot postmortems were obtained between 2000 and 2008. Forensic ballistics data were only available for cases between 2004 and 2008. Males represent 91% of gunshot victims and were struck in the thorax/abdomen with an average of 2.3 bullets. The type of firearms involved were semi‐automatic pistols in the predominant caliber 9‐mm Luger and assault rifles in caliber 5.56 × 45 mm and caliber 7.62 × 39 mm Soviet, using full metal jacket bullets. The majority of shootings occurred at ranges of 1 m or greater. The most common bullet path was front to back in 66% of cases. Entry wounds occurred more often on the left side of the thorax, abdomen, and back. The most common critical organs/tissues to sustain bullet trauma in descending order were as follows: heart, lungs, liver, aorta, spleen, kidneys, and vena cava. Ribs were struck by most bullets that entered the thorax.
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Keywords: bullet trajectory; cause of death; entry wound; forensic science; organ damage; rib damage

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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