Covering All the Angles
Firearms examiners use old-fashioned and high-tech methods to reconstruct shooting incidents and help solve crimes.
A bullet can travel thousands of feet per second.
The path that bullet travels may be a key piece of evidence in a crime scene investigation.
Deciphering bullet trajectories—including what happens when bullets strike objects—is the job of firearms examiners at the FBI’s Laboratory.
Investigators use high-speed video and 3D graphics, as well as old-fashioned tape measures and trigonometry, to reconstruct how a particular shooting unfolded.
At crime scenes, investigators take precise measurements, locating all the bullet holes and determining their origin.
Wooden dowels called “trajectory rods” are inserted through holes to help determine angles.
In some cases, scenes are digitally recreated in 3D graphics, giving investigators a unique viewpoint.
Bullet fragments and shell casing can be compared at the Lab’s headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, where we maintain an inventory of thousands of types of ammunition and firearms.
Reconstructed crime scenes can tell a lot about a shooting. The process can be painstaking, but the result may be the discovery of a clue that solves a crime.
- 11.22.2022 — FBI Charlotte: Surveillance Video in Crisis Pregnancy Center Arson Investigation (2 of 2)
- 11.21.2022 — B-Roll JCODE Takedown Los Angeles 110122
- 11.18.2022 — FBI Philadelphia: Surveillance Video in Serial Armed Robberies Investigation (September 12, 2022 Robbery)
- 11.18.2022 — FBI Philadelphia: Surveillance Video in Serial Armed Robberies Investigation (October 8, 2022 Robbery)
- 11.15.2022 — FBI Charlotte: Surveillance Video in Crisis Pregnancy Center Arson Investigation (1 of 2)
- 11.14.2022 — FBI Buffalo: Surveillance in CompassCare Arson Investigation
- 11.11.2022 — Little Rock B-Roll 110922
- 11.07.2022 — FBI and Wounded Warrior Regiment Connect for Career and Fitness Event
- 10.25.2022 — FBI Honolulu and Bank of Guam Describe Cybersecurity Partnership
- 10.06.2022 — FBI and Moderna Describe Cybersecurity Partnership (Short)
- 10.06.2022 — FBI and Moderna Describe Cybersecurity Partnership (Long)
- 10.03.2022 — FBI Dallas Continues Hate Crime Awareness Efforts
- 09.16.2022 — FBI Minneapolis Seeks Public’s Help in Identifying Person of Interest in South Dakota Homicide
- 09.14.2022 — Director Wray Addresses Recent Cyber Activity
- 09.12.2022 — Violent Crime Takedown B-Roll
- 09.12.2022 — FBI Director Christopher Wray on How the FBI Is Helping to Combat Violent Crime
- 09.09.2022 — FBI Minneapolis Seeks Public’s Help in Identifying Person of Interest in South Dakota Homicide
- 09.07.2022 — Cyber PSA from FBI Jacksonville
- 08.26.2022 — FBI Jacksonville Collegiate Academy PSA
- 08.14.2022 — Operation Cross Country 2022 B-Roll