Recovery of bullets is very crucial when investigating scenes involving ballistics. From handguns to rifles to shotguns, each gun has its own characteristics and patterns of wounds.

To recreate a scene, tracing bullet trajectory can reveal from what direction the bullet was fired, if the evidence supports the testimony, and from what type of weapon the bullet was fired from.

But do you know what to do when you have a shooting scene?

Here are a few steps to consider/follow:

Examine the crime scene for bullet holes, fired bullets, or fragments. Place evidence markers next to physical bullet evidence.

If a bullet hole is located, label it and document by photographs. Use a scale. Photograph each hole.

Determine if it's an entry or exit hole.

Did the bullet travel through the surface/substrate? It is lodged in the surface/substrate?

Use a caliper to measure the diameter of each hole; record measurement.

Place the trajectory rod into each hole.

Photograph the bullet holes with the trajectory rods in place.

Use a tape measure to determine the location of the holes both vertically and horizontally.

Use a laser finder along the trajectory rod and attempt to locate a possible bullet path.

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