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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

ALL EVIDENCE PINS HIM: State Asks Court To Convict Tycoon Sebuufu On Murder Of Businesswoman Katushabe

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Businessman Sebuufu (L) with the late Katushabe (R)

State prosecutor Michael Ojoko has asked High Court Judge Flavia Senoga  to convict pine car bond proprietor Muhammad Sebuufu and six others for killing city businesswoman Donna Betty Katushabe.

In their final submission today, Ojoko told court that the prosecution has proved that Sebuufu and the co-accused murdered Katushabe. He submitted that Sebuufu planned the murder of Katushabe because two days before the murder, he kidnapped Katushabe from her home in Bwebajja, Wakiso district. Sebuufu also sent his security assistant Shaban Oduutu  to open a car theft case  number SD-54-17-10-2015 at Kampala central police station.

Ojoko told court that Sebuufu’s mission to open up this case was to prove that Katushabe was a thief who stole a vehicle from Pine car bond and it was the reason why they killed her. He further said that Sebuufu never followed the case he opened. Ojoko cited the testimony of Specioza Nyanza a police officer who commanded the arrest of Katushabe. Specioza told court that during the deceased’s arrest, she was fine and did not look sickly as the defendant claimed. Ojoko revealed that it was after the deceased was beaten and tortured at pine that she died. The pathology doctor William Mutumba indicated in his pathology report that Katushabe died because of blood tumors.

He said that the tumor was as a result of torture and constant beatings. She further explained that even the laboratory tests indicated that the blood found on the wall in Sebuufu’s office was corresponding with that of Katushabe which proves that she was murdered in Sebuufu’s office.

He explained to the presiding judge that even though the trading license found in Sebuufu’s office was not in his names, there were witnesses who pinned him that he used that office to torture Katushabe. He submitted that Peter Tumusiime, the lawyer who was sent by his boss Annet Kobusingye, a lawyer to Katushabe told court that he found Sebuufu and five well-built men beating Katushabe who was undressed and on handcuffs.

He added that it was Sebuufu who called Kobusingye, the lawyer to the deceased ordering her to bring his balance of Shs9m which Katushabe owed him after the purchase of a Toyota Premio car. He added that Sebuufu even warned her that if she failed to raise the money, he was going to kill Katushabe which he did. He said that it was the first time for Kobusigye to talk to Sebuufu so there was no reason why he would have deceived court. Ojok told court that the phone communication showed that Sebuufu was at pine by the time Katushabe was murdered not at Mwanga 11 court as he claimed.

He said that the conviction of Sebuufu will save the public from people who are killing others unlawful. The case is still on ongoing.

By Jamil Lutakome

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If My Client Is Killed In Luzira Prison Lt. General Gutti Will Be Answerable – Kittata’s Lawyer Bangs Tables

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Abdallah Kitatta

Lawyer Shaban Sanywa who is representing embattled bodaboda 2010 patron Abdullah Kittata has warned that if his client dies in Luzira government prison Lt General Andrew Gutti, the chairperson of the Makindye based court martial will be answerable.

Sanywa first protested state prosecutor captain Samuel Masereje’s submission. Capt. Masejere submitted that Kittata must be remanded to Luzira or Kigo  civilian prisons because the threats against his life were no more and his case reached an end.

However, Sanywa challenged Masereje’s arguments saying that his client should be left in Makindye Military prison because he is safe there. Sanywa revealed that there are people who are targeting Kitatta’s life. He cited two people who were arrested at Makindye Military prison trying to poison Kittata.

Even though Sanywa put up a spirited fight to have his client remain in Makindye prison, General Gutti turned a deaf ear and remanded Kittata to Luzira prison. Earlier, court was told that the three witnesses who were summoned by defense lawyer Sanywa to come and testify on Kittata’s side refused to honor the summons. Sanywa told court that he had served three witnesses but they intentionally refused to appear in court.

Later, Sanywa told the media that if his client dies in Luzira prison, the court martial boss Lt. Gutti will be answerable.

The suspects include Private Kenneth Okello, the officer in charge of Old Kampala police Armory, Sgt Allan Matsiko, the second body guard to Kittata and Vine Tea Hotel manager where Kittata arrested from with guns by military police. Kittata and nine others are facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition and military gears which the state says they are a monopoly of only defense force.

By Jamil Lutakome

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Police Speaks Out On Minister Nantaba Attack

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Uganda Police mouthpiece CP Patrick Onyango has clarified on the incident in which minister Aidah Nantaba was attacked by unknown assailants who were riding on a motorcycle.

In a statement released this evening, Onyango said, “the police at Nagalama are investigating circumstances under which two men dressed in black leather suits and riding a silver grey Suzuki sports motorcycle Reg No.UDL 822A, allegedly trailed, The Hon. Aida Nantaba Erios, The Hon. Minister of State for ICT and Woman Member of Parliament Kayunga District, in a threatening manner over a distance of 40 kms, from Sezibwa bridge up to Nagalama trading centre. It is alleged that two riders today 24th.March 2019 at around 11:00am rode past The Hon. Minsters official vehicle after, made a U-turn, drove back and pulled alongside the roadside market after Sezibwa bridge. One of them came to the stall where she was buying fruits and pretended to seek for the direction to Kabimbiri trading centre . His suspicious conduct prompted her bodyguard to respond and they drove off.
The Hon. Minister upon realizing that she was being trailed, branched and alerted the police at Nagalama, about the suspicious conduct of the riders.
The two suspicious riders, upon noticing that the Hon. minister had branched and alerted the police at Nagalama , diverted and attempted to escape in the direction of Kimenyede – Mayangayanga Road .
The response teams at Nagalama, pursued them, and after a long chase forced them to abandon their sports motorcycle at Nagojje trading centre, several shots were fired in their direction, to cause them to surrender, but all in vain. In the process, Sebbulime Ronald a resident of Nakabugo Village, Nakabugo Parish, Pakiso Sub County, and Busiro County in Wakiso District was shot dead during the pursuit. The police is still searching the area with canine dogs for the second suspect, who is feared armed and dangerous.
We want to inform the public that The Hon. Minister, despite the scare is very safe and was not attacked at any stage as alleged in the media. Due to the signature technique of attacks from assailants perched on the back of moving motorcycles, the police is taking keen interest, in this investigation, to establish the motive of the suspects. The mobile phone to the deceased, the motorcycle and identification documents recovered are essential leads in our investigation.”

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