Forensic Engineering Techniques to Reconstruct Shooting Incidents

Richard M. Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E. (NAFE 308S)Wendy S. Johnson


This paper discusses and evaluates the techniques and technology available to reconstruct shooting incidents. Reconstruction typically involves movement of the shooter(s), their gun(s), victim(s), vehicles, and possibly witnesses. The analysis involves shooting range tests, photogrammetry, 3-dimensional computer modeling, bullet and shell trajectory analysis, and a time/space computer animation analysis. The bullet trajectories are re-created in 3-dimensional space and evaluated with the assistance of a 3-dimensional computer model created through photogrammetry. Today’s technology allows engineers to reconstruct entire shooting incidents in a 3-dimensional time-space model where all the factors involved in the incident can be analyzed. Three case studies will be discussed.

Published By


Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. 18 No. 1
June 2001