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A Death Involving a Fired and Deflected Bullet: A Case Report from Lyon University Institute of Forensic Science, France

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In case of gunshot deaths, atypical wounds can make the distinction between entrance and exit wounds harder. They may be due either to anatomical reasons or to diverse cogent ballistic arguments. The reported case pertains to a fatal hunting accident involving an expanded conical point bullet against the neck with both atypical entrance and exit wounds. Ballistic analyses including test firings allowed a better understanding of the external and internal findings. Upon premature impact with an intermediary target, the bullet experienced expansion in the formation of sharp brass petals responsible for a star‐shaped entry wound. The trajectory of the deformed high energy projectile through the victim's body was then deviated by the cervical column, causing it to be tangential to the skin when exiting the body. The description of such atypical cases may benefit other experts and may assist in their investigation into similar cases.
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Keywords: atypical wound; ballistics; expanded conical point bullet; forensic science; gunshot; hunting accident

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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