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Transfer and Distribution of Gunshot Residue through Glass Windows

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Research into the deposition patterns of primer gunshot residue (GSR) beyond a primary target was previously nonexistent. This study aimed to determine the deposition patterns of GSR once a bullet passed through an initial target and continued on its path into additional targets. Multiple repetitions were performed to assess the GSR deposition patterns after a bullet was shot through a closed window into either a dummy or a wall within an enclosed room. Samples were taken from both the primary and secondary target holes as well as from nontarget areas. Significant amounts of GSR were found on all samples. The results show that GSR continues to be deposited along the path of the bullet after passing through a primary glass target. These findings reiterate the lack of probative value in collecting GSR samples from gunshot victims even if they are in an enclosed area separate from the shooter.
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Keywords: deposition; downrange; energy dispersive X‐ray spectroscopy (EDS); forensic science; gunshot residue; gunshot victims; primary target; primer residue; scanning electron microscopy (SEM); secondary target

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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