This course has been designed to give students information about evaluating, interpreting, and reconstructing a shooting scene. The units within this course will cover a general overview of firearms/ammunition and their components, bullet path reconstruction theories and techniques, cartridge case ejection patterns, evidence collection, and firearm/ammunition testing, as well as gunshot wound examination. The course will also discuss the analysis of a shooting scene, and the appropriate mathematical equations to include within the analysis.
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Differentiate between different categories of projectile impact
Calculate the angle of impact from an impact site
Describe how vehicle windows and windshields react to bullet impact
Discuss the variable conditions of ejection pattern tests
Describe the different analytic methods used for GSR
Understand the holistic approach to shooting reconstruction
Recognize the distinguishing characteristics of different ranges of gunshot wounds
Discuss the factors affecting the appearance of gunshot wounds
Course Structure and Schedule
This is a non-credit course offering 4.36 ILUs. (What is ILU?) Average completion time for the course is 24 hours. A certificate of completion will be issued to students successfully meeting course requirements.
Table of Contents
Unit 1: The Principles of Shooting Reconstruction
Unit 2: An Overview of Firearms and Ballistics
Unit 3: Ammunition
Unit 4: Mathematics
Unit 5: Bullet Holes and Impact Sites
Unit 6: Bullet Path Reconstruction
Unit 7: Shooting Incidents Involving Motor Vehicles
Unit 8: Cartridge Case Ejection Patterns
Unit 9: Gunshot Residue and Other Trace Evidence
Unit 10: Shooting Scene Analysis
Unit 11: Evidence Collection
Unit 12: Firearm and Ammunition Testing
Unit 13: Gunshot Wounds
Unit 14: Shooting Reconstruction in Court
There are no prerequisites for this class. A printable version of the course content is available in PDF format in the course library for future reference. Course readings are also available in PDF format.
(Free software plug-ins are available in the Getting Started area of the course.)
Basic computer skills required (i.e. turning on your computer, navigating to websites, etc.). The course is user-friendly but support is available if needed.
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“I have been in the field of Law Enforcement and Forensics for over 25 years. I have amassed thousands of hours of training during that period. Having participated in three forensic programs offered by WVU, I wish to comment on the experience that I have had. The courses are very well constructed, and the goals are reasonable and attainable if you stay with the process. The instructors are very knowledgeable, and are willing to help on any issue. I have participated in many different courses using different formats in the way the courses were taught. My WVU experience was one of the best I have had in my career. The program should be used by as many people in the field as possible.”