High Tech Tools Helping Solve Gun Crimes
The bullet casings left behind on the street outside the home where Nizzel George was fatally shot could help police in their investigation, especially if the gun was used in another crime.
David Peterson is the forensic sciences supervisor for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He says shell casings can reveal a great deal of valuable information.
"There's two things they're looking at," Peterson said. "There's firing pin impression which makes an indent in the center of the back which ignites the round. Then they're looking at breach face marks, which go across the back of a shell-casing."
The unique and distinct markings on the bullet are then cross-referenced by computer.
"They use a system called the National Integrated Ballistics Information System, NIBIS for short," Peterson said. "It's a database of fired cartridge cases that's maintained by the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms."
The goal of the database is to determine if a gun used in one crime may have been used in another crime.
"They can at least say that the firearm that was used in this case is the same fire arm used in another case, based on the shell casings previously entered. The goal then, is to find the firearm used."
According to Peterson, the tools and technology have been very useful and successful.
"Absolutely. It's solved multiple crimes that we know of," he said.