What Ballistics Experts Are Expected to Do. • Ballistics Experts are divided into three different areas: • Internal Ballistics- what happens inside a weapon when it is fired. • External Ballistics- What happens to a bullet and its residues outside the gun. • Terminal Ballistics- What happens when the bullet comes into contact with something.
Internal Ballistics • Internal Ballistics is what happens to a bullet when inside a weapon. When bullets are placed in the barrels of weapons, distinct micro scratches are etched onto the bullet that only one individual weapon can make. • First thing a ballistic expert checks when handed the murder weapon is the barrel. The reason for this is when a weapon has not been fired recently rust will probably be present. Or when the weapon is fired at a victim at close range, blood splatter will usually land inside the barrel commonly unknown to the murderer.
External Ballistics • When a bullet leaves a weapon, many different variables come into play: the direction, the velocity, and the trajectory. • After the weapon is fired, gun powder from the bullet puffballs into the air leaving residue. Considering how this powder lands or who the powder lands on will tell the expert the direction or who committed the crime.
Terminal Ballistics • When the bullet ricochets off an object or penetrates an object, the trajectory and speed are changed. Deposits are accumulated on the bullet as it runs into these objects. • Experts in this field exanimate the shape, the damage, and the caliber of the bullet.
Academic Requirements • In order to become a ballistics expert, a person has to go to school and get a bachelors degree in criminalistics or natural science. • Usual schooling are two to four years. • They are in high demand and will most likely be employed right after school. • Starting pay is between 31-41,000 depending if you work county or federal.
Ballistics Case: Gaza child wasn’t killed by Israeli gunfire • Gaza child named Mohammad al-Dura was shot in a strip mall, the shooting was captured on video. Prosecutors believed the shooters to be Israeli police force. • Ballistics expert, Jean-Claude Schlinger claimed that it was impossible for the Israeli force to shoot the kid. Founded this conclusion by recreating the scene and found that the walls of the mall were to thick for the bullets to pass through. • Shooting was later found to have been staged and that the Palestinians were responsible.
Random Information: • Ballistics Experts use evidence in order to: • Match a bullet to a firearm • Determine the range of the shot • Determine the materials the bullet passed through • Determine the path that the bullet has taken. The development of DNAmmo bullets will help ballistics experts for they are tagged with a coded DNA sequence and are directly traceable to the purchaser. The first person to apply the science of ballistics to criminology was Eugene Francois Vidocq, the first head of French Surete. (french police) Eugene Vidocq and the Surete were what inspired America to create the FBI.