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FIGHTING CRIME: How Guns Can Be Linked To A Crime Scene & How Finger Printing Guns Is Done

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President Yoweri Museveni during his address on the state of security in the country yesterday at parliament laid down 10 measures  goverment is going to undertake to fight insecurity in the country.

The first measure was to finger-print all legally held guns. The president said, “All legally held guns will be finger-printed. When this happens, once a cartridge is fired, we shall be able to tell which gun discharged the bullet. If any legally-held gun is used in crime, we shall trace it, this includes guns in private hands but licensed by the police.” Below are some of the ways guns can be linked to a crime scene and what the president meant by finger printing guns:

Guns and bullets are used in the most serious crimes, and they also happen to leave the most damning evidence.

While it’s often obvious when initially walking into a crime scene whether a gun was used – even if the victim survived and is being treated by paramedics – a full examination of the scene is always required to look at all factors that impacted the event. When a gun is involved, however, crime scene investigators will look for specific clues such as bullet casings, bullet holes, spatter patterns, and perhaps even a dropped weapon – either at the scene or nearby, such as in a body of water or a dumpster.

After the scene is photographed, diagrammed and all evidence referenced, the shell casings, bullet fragments, weapons and other evidence can be gathered, preserved and catalogued for further study back at the lab. Bullets suspected to be drilled into soft plaster or furniture will not be pried out. The area around and containing the bullet will be cut out so that the bullet can be removed carefully at the lab, and thereby preserve the channel that the bullet made.

1. Striations on a fired bullet

Once a bullet is recovered, either from an impact point in a soft wall or pulled out of flesh by a medical examiner or a physician, that bullet will become a primary piece of evidence. Every gun barrel is rifled during manufacture, or finished inside the barrel with rotating grooves to impart spin to a bullet in order to improve accuracy during flight. The resulting spiralling grooves and lands (the flat parts between the grooves) leave mirrored markings on the bullet itself.

If you are able to fire another bullet from the same gun, an investigator can match the grooves under a special microscope which displays both bullets side by side, comparing the strata. Since there are several processes involved in rifling a barrel, each barrel is unique. Just like fingerprints, a bullet can be paired to a weapon with nearly perfect accuracy.

Further, even without a weapon, the striations can identify a type and model of firearm, so detectives will know what to look for.

2. Gunpowder residue leaves expected patterns

When a gun is fired, the bullet is not the only thing that comes out of the barrel. Burning powder particles also expectorate and will create a pattern on the object closest to the barrel. This pattern varies by how far the weapon is from the target. By knowing the patterns of a particular firearm, a consensus can be reached about how close or how far away the gun was. If there are no powder marks on the hand holding the gun or the forehead around the bullet hole, it is unlikely that the victim shot himself, so suicide can be ruled out no matter how convincing the pose looks to the untrained eye.

3. Trajectory, ricochet and bullet holes

Sticks carefully inserted in bullet holes can indicate direction of the bullet, and, if many holes are found in a scene, these sticks can help triangulate: where the shooter was standing; how tall he (or she) might have been; and many more details. Bullets that ricochet will collect trace evidence from where they bounce, and add further detail for the investigator.

4. Hidden fingerprints

A gunman will finger bullets as he loads them into a cylinder or magazine, and leave tiny quantities of salty sweat with each touch. When a bullet is fired away from its casing, tremendous heat is instantly transferred to that metal, vaporising the moisture and setting the salts from those prints. The salts become molten and a chemical reaction with the metal etches the fingerprints permanently into the casing.

5. Firing pin impressions

Firing pins leave individual marks on the primer (the explosive cap that ignites the gunpowder when struck by the pin on the tip of the hammer) at the very bottom of each bullet. The alignment, size of impression, and age of the firearm also contribute to individualised marks as the hard metal (the pin) make impressions on the soft metal (the primer).

6. Bullet damage to tissue

Wounds can provide an incredible amount of information about sequence of hits, distance, velocity, bullet type, caliber, and more – whether a bullet fragment is recovered or not. Bevelling around an entrance wound holds clues, fracture lines in dense bone such as skulls can identify distance, velocity and direction of fire. Grazing bullets leave skin tags – little flags of ragged skin that are pulled up and torn as a projectile passes by at high speed. All of these indications help validate the opinions of a medical examiner.

 

Additional information from: forensicoutreach.com

 

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CRIME

Three Killed In Mukono Robbery Shoot-Out

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Three suspected robbers have been killed in a shoot-out with security guards at Biyinzika Poultry farm in Mukono District, the Grapevine has learnt.

About 10 men armed with one riffle raided Biyinzika Poultry farm at on 16th December 2018 at about 0200 hours and attempted to steal chicken.

In the process of the robbery, there was exchange of fire with the guards at the farm hence killing three suspected robbers. One has been identified as James Adrey of Ngora District.

The Spokesperson Kampala Metropolitan Police Luke Owoyesigyire said that other two bodies have not been identified and were therefore taken to Mulago National Referral Hospital for postmortem.

“We also recovered chicken in sacks at the scene of crime and the hunt is still on for the rest of the team that is suspected to have been involved in this foiled robbery,” he said.

Investigations are ongoing via Mukono Police vide SD 02/16/12/2018.

By Remmy Atugonza

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Top Police Officer Defrauds Shs90m From Insurance Company

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Tom Mubiru, a Police officer Number RA 21145 SGT together with city businesswoman Cissy Ndagano have been charged with obtaining money by false pretense. The two were charged before Buganda Road grade one Magistrate Robert Mukanza for fraudulently obtaining over shs90m from Jubilee Assurance Company.

The state alleges that on 16th May 2018, Mubiru and Ndagano went to Jubilee Life Assurance Company offices in Kampala with intent to obtain UGX 52,739535 from the insurance firm fraudulently.

They falsely pretended that Mr. Geoffrey Ssebitosi, who had insured his life died, by the time they discovered that Ssebitosi was not dead, Mubiru and Ndagano had already obtained money.

The state alleges that on 26th of January 2018 at ICEA Life offices in Kampala, the duo defrauded UGX 2,000,000 from Insurance Company of East Africa by falsely claiming that Godfrey Ssebitosi had died.

Both were also charged with giving false information to a person employed in the public service. The state alleges that between July 2018 and November 2018 at CID headquarters Kibuli Kampala, the accused gave false information to a public officer employed by Uganda Police Force which was false when they alleged that Sebitosi was dead. They were charged VID:CID HQTRS 847 2018. It reveals that accused with knowledge lie the police.

By Jamil Lutakome

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Katushabe’s Lawyers Asked Me For Shs100m To Kill Case – Sebuufu

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Pine car bond tycoon Muhammad Sebuufu has accused the lawyers of the late Donnah Betty Katushabe, whom he is accused of murdering, of asking him for Shs100m to kill the murder case against him.

In his unsworn defense before Judge Angeline Flavia Senoga of the High Court Criminal Division yesterday,  Sebuufu revealed that when he was remanded to Luzira prison,  four people visited him and gave him alternatives of how he can overcome the charges.

“The group was led by Annet Kobusigye who introduced herself as a lawyer to the late Katushabe and also a boss to Peter Tumusiime and another lawyer, a one Amon who is a potential witness against me.  She asked me for Shs100m to settle the entire case by convincing her lawyers not to come to Court since Katushabe was already dead and no one was going to follow up the case,” Sebuufu revealed.

His lawyer Caleb Alaka asked him to tell Court proof that Kobusigye and other lawyers came to see him in Luzira prison.  Sebuufu told court that Kobusigye wrote in the prison’s visitors’ book indicating her telephone number and the person she had gone to see (Sebuufu).  He further revealed that he has many witnesses who are ready to come to Court and pin Kobusigye including prison officers who recorded her identity in the visitor’s book. He said that his long outstanding friend Livingstone Jjaggwe who works in Equity bank is also available to testify against Kobusigye because he is the one who introduced them to him in Luzira prison.  Alaka asked him to tell court whether he gave Kobusigye the bribe she asked for. Sebuufu said that he refused to give her the bribe because he was confident that he would win this case in Courts of law since he was innocent.  He said he had told Kobusigye to go back and prepare her witnesses to testify against him because they just want him to rot in Luzira prison yet they know the right people who killed Katushabe.

 

He added that he knew Tumusiime very well because he is the one who introduced Katushabe to him when she wanted to buy the vehicle.  He said Tumusiime even asked him for Shs1million as commission from the Shs17million Katushabe was paying for the car.

He further revealed that he thinks Tumusiime got annoyed because he was not given his Shs1million commission from the first payment that Katushabe made while paying for the car. Sebuufu said that he did not pay Tumusiime because by the time the money was paid, he was not around, he promised to pay Tumusiime from the last installment. He added that Tumusiime was also his former employee who  managed his computer systems but he fired him after he failed to deliver. Sebuufu testified that he was surprised when Kobusigye told him that Tumusiime was a lawyer.

“This is the reason why Tumusiime came to Court and testified against me,” Sebuufu said. His lawyer Alaka applied for a Court order against prison authorities to produce their visitor’s book where Kobusigye wrote when she visited Sebuufu. Justice Ssenoga promised to make her ruling on Alaka’s application in the next hearing.  Sebuufu further denied knowing his seven co- accused saying he got to know them in Court. He said co-accused Steven Lwanga was just a special hire driver at Nkurumah Road but not his friend.

He told court that he hired Lwanga to drive Katushabe who was badly beaten by a mob near his car bond to take her to Central Police Station (CPS), this was after the police failed to rescue her. Alaka asked him tell court why people were beating Katushabe and he said that he heard people saying that Katushabe was a car robber and she had been stealing their cars and conniving with other robbers to kill their friends. He said that Lwanga came back with Katushabe in his hire special car and told Ssebuufu that he was told to make a statement telling who had beaten the deceased. He said Lwanga refused to make a statement and it’s the reason as to why he returned Katushabe in the car. Ssebuufu said that he called CPS OC Mugabi and informed him on what was happening at Pine because people had turned against him claiming that he was protecting the thief. He said Mugabi came with a police patrol car full of policemen and drove Katushabe to CPS, only to be informed later in the evening by Mugabi that Katushabe had died. He said that he called Aaron Baguma the former DPC CPS police to confirm whether Katushabe was dead since he had also reported to him the mob at Pine earlier. He said that Baguma told him that he was not aware of the matter. He also said that when he went to CPS to confirm the death, one of the police officers by the name Namugenyi who was his friend told him to make a statement on the death of Katushabe. He said that he made a statement and after he was detained.  Sebuufu further denied that Katushabe was murdered at his car bond. He said she was murdered in a car bond on plot 6 Nkurumah Road which was owned by Kiwanuka Damage who is still on the run in South Africa.  He said that he runs his car bond on plot 5 and 6 and Sudhir Ruparealia is his landlord.  He admits that he sold a vehicle to Katushabe.

Sebuufu is accused together with Phillip Mirambe, Godfrey Kayiza, Lwanga Stephen, Paul Tasingika, Damasen Sentongo and Shaban Oduutui alias Golola of murdering businesswoman Katushabe from the Pine car bond along Lumumba Avenue. It is said Katushabe had bought a Toyota Premio saloon car from Sebuufu but was beaten to death over failing to clear the balance of Shs9million as had been agreed.

 

By Jamil Lutakomese

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